The projects announced today will contribute to the development of a commercially viable MHK industry and further America’s progress in proving wave and tidal energy as viable sources for our nation’s clean energy future. Recent studies conducted by the Energy Department found that America’s technically recoverable wave energy resource ranges between approximately 900 and 1,230 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year, distributed across the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The tidal streams resource ranges between approximately 220 and 330 TWh per year. For context, approximately 90,000 homes can be powered by 1 TWh per year. With more than 50 percent of the U.S. population living within 50 miles of coastlines, there is vast potential to provide clean, renewable electricity to communities and cities in U.S. coastal areas.
Three demonstration projects will integrate next-generation MHK hardware and software technologies into system designs. Their effectiveness will be tested during full-scale, open-water deployments over one year:
The selected environmental projects will help reduce the time and cost associated with required environmental monitoring. As a new industry, the MHK community is working with regulators to amass data to further demonstrate its environmental sustainability around issues such as noise generation from devices and device interactions with marine organisms to confirm that these fall within regulatory limits. Seven projects will improve, test, and validate cost reductions in environmental monitoring equipment that will give industry a deeper understanding of interactions between MHK systems and the marine environment:
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Go to water.energy.gov to learn more about our Water Power Technology Office’s funding opportunities and efforts to develop innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally friendly, cost-competitive electricity from water resources. To learn more about how MHK devices capture energy from waves, tides and currents, view this Energy 101 video.