U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Water Power Program

DOE Awards $37 Million for Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy

September 15, 2010

In the largest single U.S. funding commitment to date for this technology, DOE announced on September 9 its selections for more than $37 million in funding to accelerate the technological and commercial readiness of emerging marine and hydrokinetic technologies. These technologies generate renewable electricity from free-flowing rivers and streams, ocean tides and waves, and temperature differences in the ocean. The 27 projects in 17 states range from concept studies and component design research to prototype development and in-water device testing. DOE will leverage private-sector investments by providing cost-shared funding to industry and industry-led partnerships.

Photo of floating, buoy-like device, used to generate power in the ocean.

Ocean Power Technologies plans to deploy its wave energy converter off the Oregon coast.
Credit: Ocean Power Technologies

The selected projects are led by companies and institutions in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. The projects include in-water tests in Alaskan rivers and off the shores of Maine, Oregon, and Washington. For example, Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. will deploy a full-scale 150-kilowatt (kW) wave energy conversion system in the Oregon Territorial Sea and will collect two years of detailed operating data. And the Public Utility District No.1 of Snohomish County, Washington, will deploy, operate, monitor, and evaluate two 10-meter diameter tidal turbines in Puget Sound. The project is expected to generate 1 megawatt of electrical energy during periods of peak tidal currents, with an average energy output of approximately 100 kW. In addition, the Ocean Renewable Power Company will test five tidal turbines in Cobscook Bay, off the coast of Eastport, Maine. See the full list of projectsPDF, and DOE's Wind and Water Power Program Web site.