US Launches $10M Marine Energy Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding to establish a new testing program for marine energy technologies.

The U.S. Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) Program will bring together capabilities from universities and the national laboratory system to provide marine energy developers ready-access to unique, world-class testing facilities and expertise.

Physical testing of devices and components is a critical step to validate device performance and computer models throughout the research and development (R&D) process.

Testing marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) devices is inherently more complex and time consuming than testing other, land-based energy technologies, and as facilities appropriate for testing wave and tidal power systems often have limited availability.

The U.S. TEAMER Program is designed to address and overcome these barriers. Through its network of facilities and testing protocols, the program will simplify access and reduce costs of testing for MHK technology developers – ensuring access to the appropriate facilities at the appropriate time. Through TEAMER, marine energy technology developers will gain:

1. Access to testing infrastructure. TEAMER will provide device developers with access to a wide range of pre-certified facilities at minimal cost, and allow for a much faster and more streamlined integration of physical testing and validation into the design process.

2. Access to world-class expertise. TEAMER will pair technology companies with the nation’s leading marine energy experts, providing assistance in the design and execution of tests and understanding the implication of results for future design iterations.

3. Comparable testing protocols and data. TEAMER will establish consistent testing protocol as a condition for access to facilities, ensure tests are conducted accordingly, and create a repository of marine energy performance data that will serve the industry as a whole.

The Program will be a collaborative effort including universities as well as national laboratories and National Marine Renewable Energy Centers. Funding will be made available through the U.S. TEAMER Program to support MHK device developer-proposed activities, and a network director will ensure the Program runs effectively and efficiently.

The TEAMER program launches with a $10 million FOA that will provide funds for disbursement to university and private members of the network and select the network director.

The network director will provide independent validation and verification for the establishment and operations of the program, including establishment of the Test Facility Network and development of TEAMER test protocols and technical processes, as well as making funding available on an as-needed basis.