U.S. national labs seek industry input on infrastructure upgrades for marine energy testing

Several United States’ national laboratories have launched a joint survey to help prioritize the general testing needs of the marine energy industry and subsequent upgrades to their infrastructure.

Illustration/NSWC’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock (Courtesy of U.S. DOE)
Illustration/NSWC’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock (Courtesy of U.S. DOE)

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Sandia National Laboratories are currently analyzing the testing needs that can be addressed by upgrades and expansions to marine energy testing infrastructure.

In that regard, the laboratories have launched a survey to understand what those needs are and will be, in order to help them prioritize testing and infrastructure upgrades and expansions to funnel U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) funding where it’s most needed.

To remind, WPTO awarded over $7 million to seven projects supporting marine energy testing infrastructure upgrades across five national research laboratories back in March 2021.

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The multi-lab team working to identify infrastructure upgrade needs has identified 12 high-level testing needs for marine energy, including site characterization, structural testing, scaled and full-scale testing and demonstration, and control validations, among others.

The information generated by the survey is intended to be used primarily by WPTO in understanding the opportunities to strategically upgrade marine energy infrastructure.

However, the public-facing documents will also be used by marine energy technology developers, test and research centers, and more broadly by the research community including adjacent sectors such as oceanographic science or aquaculture.