Photo: Oscilla Power

Oscilla Power scores $1.1M for subsea energy storage R&D

Oscilla Power has secured $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy as part of the Phase II SBIR award.

This award should help the Seattle-based company develop a novel underwater energy storage technology and investigate the best practice on connecting large-scale farms of ocean wave energy devices to the grid.

It should allow a continuation of Oscilla’s work that emphasized the advantages of co-locating energy storage with wave energy systems.

Large-scale energy storage has long been touted as crucial in increasing the effectiveness of wind or solar energy.

As part of this new project, Oscilla will further develop its energy storage concept.

It will also investigate the effect of interconnecting a 50MW farm of its Triton wave energy devices into a power grid.

The work should indicate that large wave energy farms can produce more reliable power than existing wind or solar plants.

Tim Mundon, VP Engineering for Oscilla, said:

“Although ocean waves have very high short-term variability, they are much more consistent over longer periods of time, which is a key advantage of wave energy.

“Understanding how very large farms of devices interact may help us identify further optimizations that will drive down the costs of utility-scale wave energy.”

Oscilla Power will be working with Brayton Energy to develop the energy storage component of this new work.

Brayton has previously developed an underwater compressed air energy storage system with the US DoE and Navy.

Oscilla Power will also be working with experts from Oregon State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

This collaboration will help understand the array and interconnection aspects for a 50MW farm of wave energy devices.

This work should start shortly and will continue over the next two years.

The Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovation & Research) award, gets backing through the Water Power Technology Office (WPTO).

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