USA: DOE Provides Funding for Ocean Energy Environmental Effects Assessment and Monitoring

USA: DOE Provides $1.9 Mln in Funding for Ocean Energy Environmental Effects Assessment and Monitoring

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Program announced today up to $1.9 million to reduce market barriers commonly faced by the marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technology industry. Through this competitive funding opportunity, the Energy Department will collaborate with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to select up to 11 awards to collect environmental monitoring and experimental data from deployed MHK technology devices.

The “Marine and Hydrokinetic Environmental Effects Assessment and Monitoring” Funding Opportunity Announcement will promote an increased understanding of the potential environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic energy devices such as wave, tidal, and current turbines. The DOE Water Power Program intends to fund projects that address essential data needs and increase understanding of the environmental effects of MHK technologies, including:

  • Fish Behavior and Mortality Around Hydrokinetic Turbines (1 award; $200,000-$500,000): This project will quantify the behavior of fish around tidal or current turbines, with an emphasis on avoidance and evasion behaviors.
  • Environmental Monitoring of MHK Projects (4 awards; $150,000-$400,000 each): Through the collection of environmental monitoring data from deployed MHK devices, awarded projects will help to reduce uncertainty for high priority environmental questions regarding MHK technologies.
  • Analysis of Environmental Effects of MHK Surrogate Technologies (2-6 awards; $50,000-$150,000 each): Projects will analyze existing data from surrogate technologies with stressors and receptors similar to those expected from MHK technologies, in order to characterize the potential environmental risk posed by MHK device deployments.

Since 2008, the Energy Department has collaborated with several agencies to reduce market barriers and inform the environmentally responsible deployment of MHK technologies. Recent and upcoming MHK deployments provide excellent opportunities to collect valuable operational and environmental data. The lessons learned as a result of this competitive solicitation will be shared with regulators and other MHK stakeholders, helping to inform the future of the industry while supporting pioneering MHK projects.

Applicants are requested to submit a Letter of Intent by April 18, 2013, which will be used by DOE to organize and expedite the merit review process.

Press Release, March 27, 2013