DOE supports wave energy research with $25M


United States The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a $25 million grant to support increased research, development, and demonstration of technologies that use wave power to generate electricity.

The money will go toward the first round of open-water testing at the PacWave South test site off the coast of Oregon, which will include eight projects. These awards will help strengthen wave energy technologies so that they can become more commercially viable and be deployed at scale to help decarbonize the grid and achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

When wind blows over the surface of open water in the ocean, waves are created, and this movement generates a significant amount of natural energy. To be deployed at scale, wave energy converters, which capture and convert waves into carbon-free electricity, must be tested in realistic conditions. Permitting issues and a lack of available test sites are two obstacles to testing in the open ocean. DOE partnered with Oregon State University to build the PacWave South test facility in 2016, which will be the first accredited, grid-connected, pre-permitted, open-water wave energy test facility in the United States.

The projects were chosen as part of DOE’s “Advancing Wave Energy Technologies through Open Water Testing at PacWave” funding opportunity, which supports wave energy technologies through research, development, and eventual deployment.

The eight projects focus on:

  • Testing wave energy converter designs for use in geographically remote areas or on small, local energy grids.
  • CalWave Power Technologies Inc. (Oakland, CA) (Award amount: $7,500,000)
  • Columbia Power Technologies Inc. (Charlottesville, VA) (Award amount: $4,182,275)
  • Developing wave energy converter designs that can be either connected to or disconnected from the electricity grid.
  • Dehlsen Associates, LLC (Santa Barbara, CA) (Award amount: $1,800,000)
  • Oscilla Power Inc. (Seattle, WA) (Award amount: $1,800,000)
  • Performing research and development at PacWave related to environmental monitoring technologies, instrumentation systems that operators use to control wave energy converters, and other technologies.
  • Integral Consulting (Seattle, WA) (Award amount: $379,329)
  • Littoral Power Systems, Inc. (New Bedford, MA) (Award amount: $3,976,401)
  • Portland State University (Portland, OR) (Award amount: $4,507,330)
  • University of Washington (Seattle, WA) (Award amount: $1,299,689)