Photo: Credits to James Ferrara. Source: Florida Atlantic University

Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center sketches expansion plan

Florida Atlantic University has revealed its plans to expand the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) with new university partnerships, capabilities and opportunities this year.

The next steps for SNMREC’s expansion include formalizing the consortium, coordinating testing, research, and workforce development capabilities, developing a new identity to match its broadened scope, and engaging with a larger group of stakeholders who represent various aspects of future commercial marine energy projects in the U.S.

According to FAU, the new university partners will have the opportunity to leverage and expand their research capabilities to better support the marine energy sector’s commercial project ambitions in New England and elsewhere.

The partners are set to provide significant simulation, testing and research capabilities to help attract and support a wave energy community. This could help to establish a robust characterization of commercially viable marine energy sites.

The university believes that the expanded center could also help bridge technology and project overlap between the floating wind and marine energy sectors.

“We have helped to establish a strong foundation for the offshore energy sector to grow. However, there is much left to realize for the vision of harnessing our oceans to power our communities,” said Gabriel Alsenas, SNMREC director.

“To hasten commercialization efforts, we have begun discussions with several university partners to expand the center’s footprint to address the evolving needs of the marine energy sector, especially for projects along the entire U.S. East Coast, not just the southeast.”

SNMREC focuses on accelerating the responsible commercialization of marine energy technologies and provides technology assistance, workforce development, regulatory and policy support, environmental measurement, ocean current and ocean thermal resource measurements, among others.

The center recently partnered with IDOM to solicit industry requirements for a current energy converter mobile test vessel.

The partners launched a survey for tidal power industry stakeholders related to the design requirements and scope of a mobile test vessel to ensure it meets as many needs identified by the industry as possible.

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