Photo: Illustration/Wave energy device (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

US DOE opens $10 million funding call for marine energy systems innovation

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has released a $10.3 million funding opportunity to accelerate the development and testing of renewable marine energy technologies with a focus on wave and ocean current resources.

Illustration/Wave energy device (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)
Illustration/Wave energy device (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

This funding opportunity will invest in wave-powered technology innovation, research and development for seawater desalination, and a feasibility assessment for an ocean current test facility.

It is the first significant funding opportunity DOE is investing in a blue economy market and is designed to encourage faster and smaller-scale designing, building, and testing of marine energy technologies, according to US DOE.

WPTO said it expects to make up to 14 awards under the ‘Marine Energy Systems Innovation at Sea’ funding opportunity, ranging between $300,000 and $2,125,000.

The deadline for submitting concept papers has been set for November 4, 2022, and it is one of the requirements to be eligible to submit a full application, US DOE said.

Marine energy resources – such as wave, tidal, and ocean and river currents – are abundant, geographically diverse, energy dense, and complementary to other renewable energy sources.

Significant in-water testing has occurred in recent years, both domestically and internationally, to prove performance and reliability of systems that could provide utility-scale levels of clean electricity to the grid.

Marine energy can also serve the needs of many blue economy markets such as producing fresh water through desalination in disaster relief situations and to small communities.

WPTO said it encourages underserved communities and underrepresented groups to participate in this funding opportunity.

Applicants are highly encouraged to include individuals from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math on their project teams.

Further, minority-serving institutions, minority business enterprises, minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, or entities located in an underserved community that meet the eligibility requirements described in the funding opportunity are encouraged to apply as the prime applicant or participate on an application as a proposed partner to the prime applicant.

WPTO also noted it will host an informational webinar on October 13, 2022, to discuss the funding opportunity and areas of focus.

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