Massachusetts funds marine hydrokinetic data portal

  • Authorities & Government

The government of Massachusetts has awarded funding for the establishment of a new oceanographic data portal designed for users working in the renewable energy sector with an emphasis on hydrokinetic project developments.

Over $450,000 in grants have been awarded to three projects looking to advance the state of blue economy in Massachusetts by deploying Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

The projects, funded through the Seaport Economic Council (SEC), include close to $70,000 commitment to Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) to develop a marine hydrokinetic oceanographic data portal that will be hosted live and available online to industry and general public.

The new data portal is expected to be used by commercial users in renewable energy, aquaculture, recreational mariners, and educators as it will unify independent data-generating systems into one visual portal to provide a real time view of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at work.

The project will also work cooperatively with a 60kW hydrokinetic tidal turbine that can be used for environmental testing, workforce development training and power production, infrastructure funded through a $150,000 investment by the Commonwealth, the government of Massachusetts said.

The turbine, housed on a mobile barge, will act as a test site which will tie into the data portal, allowing viewers of the portal to check the output of the barge throughout the varying tidal cycles and in real-time.

Carolyn Kirk, Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary, said: “The Internet of Things utilizes cutting-edge sensors, cloud computing, and data processing to drive new discoveries, helping us harness data from the ocean that would have been nearly impossible to capture just a few short years ago.

“Through this data, these sectors can better understand the environment, adapt their practices, and conserve critical resources, enabling these industries to more rapidly adapt and grow economic opportunities in these coastal communities.”