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DOE Selects Projects for Up to $7.3 Million for R&D Clean Technology Water Power Projects

September 18, 2008 - 3:43pm


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the selection of projects for negotiation of award of up to $7.3 million to 14 research teams, with a cost-shared value of over $18 million, under the DOE's competitive solicitation for Advanced Water Power Projects. The projects will advance commercial viability, cost-competitiveness, and market acceptance of new technologies that can harness renewable energy from oceans and rivers. These efforts will further the President's Advanced Energy Initiative, which dramatically increases clean-energy research funding to develop cleaner, lower cost, and more reliable alternative energy sources. The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) signed by President Bush in December 2007 authorizes DOE to establish a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to expand marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy production.

"The Department of Energy is aggressively pursuing the development of next-generation technologies that are capable of producing renewable energy to add to our nation's diverse energy portfolio," Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy John Mizroch said. "Wave, tidal, and current-driven hydro power is an important clean, natural, and domestic energy source that will promote energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Awards will be made in three topic areas. In the first topic area, awards will be for industry-led partnerships to develop and/or field test advanced water power technologies. Successful applicants are required to develop collaborative project teams involving at least one other industrial, university, or national laboratory partner. The second topic area is designed to facilitate the market penetration of advanced water power technologies. Universities, industrial companies, non-profits and other private sector companies were eligible to apply, and encouraged but not required to form teams, including partnering with DOE's National Laboratories, encouraged but not required. The third topic area will assist the development of National Marine Renewable Energy Centers. Selections were made by a distinguished merit review committee, comprised of national and international water power experts. 

The following organizations and projects have been selected for award negotiations:

First Topic Area: Technology Development (Up to $600,000 for up to two years)

  • Electric Power Research Institute, Inc (EPRI) (Palo Alto, Calif.) Fish-friendly hydropower turbine development & deployment. EPRI will address the additional developmental engineering required to prepare amore efficient and environmentally friendly hydropower turbine for the commercial market and allow it to compete with traditional designs.
  • Verdant Power Inc. (New York, N.Y.) Improved structure and fabrication of large, high-power kinetic hydropower systems rotors. Verdant will design, analyze, develop for manufacture, fabricate and thoroughly test an improved turbine blade design structure to allow for larger, higher-power and more cost-effective tidal power turbines.
  • Public Utility District #1 of Snohomish County (SnoPUD) (Everett, Wash.) Puget Sound Tidal Energy In-Water Testing and Development Project. SnoPUD will conduct in-water testing and demonstration of tidal flow technology as a first step toward potential construction of a commercial-scale power plant. The specific goal of this proposal is to complete engineering design and obtain construction approvals for a Puget Sound tidal pilot demonstration plant in the Admiralty Inlet region of the Sound.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) (San Francisco, Calif.) WaveConnect Wave Energy In-Water Testing and Development Project. PG&E will complete engineering design, conduct baseline environmental studies, and submit all license construction and operation applications required for a wave energy demonstration plant for the two WaveConnect sites in Northern California.
  • Concepts ETI, Inc (White River Junction, Vt.) Development and Demonstration of an Ocean Wave Converter (OWC) Power System. Concepts ETI will prepare detailed design, manufacturing and installation drawings of an OWC. They will then manufacture and install the system in Maui, Hawaii.
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (Manassas, Va.) Advanced Composite Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) cold water pipe project. Lockheed Martin will validate manufacturing techniques for coldwater pipes critical to OTEC in order to help create a more cost-effective OTEC system.

Second Topic Area, Market Acceleration (Award size: up to $500,000)

  • Electric Power Research Institute (Palo Alto, Calif.) Wave Energy Resource Assessment and GIS Database for the U.S. EPRI will determine the naturally available resource base and the maximum practicable extractable wave energy resource in the U.S., as well as the annual electrical energy which could be produced by typical wave energy conversion devices from that resource.
  • Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Atlanta, Ga.) Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the U.S. Georgia Tech will utilize an advanced ocean circulation numerical model to predict tidal currents and compute both available and effective power densities for distribution to potential project developers and the general public.
  • Re Vision Consulting, LLC (Sacramento, Calif.) Best Siting Practices for Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies With Respect to Environmental and Navigational Impacts. Re Vision will establish baseline, technology-based scenarios to identify potential concerns in the siting of marine and hydrokinetic energy devices, and to provide information and data to industry and regulators.
  • Pacific Energy Ventures, LLC (Portland, Ore.) Siting Protocol for Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Projects. Pacific Energy Ventures will bring together a multi-disciplinary team in an iterative and collaborative process to develop, review, and recommend how emerging hydrokinetic technologies can be sited to minimize environmental impacts.
  • PCCI, Inc. (Alexandria, Va.) Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Technologies:  Identification of Potential Navigational Impacts and Mitigation Measures. PCCI will provide improved guidance to help developers understand how marine and hydrokinetic devices can be sited to minimize navigational impact and to expedite the U.S. Coast Guard review process.
  • Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (San Diego, Calif.) International Standards Development for Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy. SAIC will assist in the development of relevant marine and hydrokinetic energy industry standards, provide consistency and predictability to their development, and increase U.S. industry's collaboration and representation in the development process.

Third Topic Area, National Marine Energy Centers (Award size: up to $1.25 million for up to five years)

  • Oregon State University (OSU), University of Washington (UW) (Corvallis, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.) Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. OSU and UW will partner to develop the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center with a full range of capabilities to support wave and tidal energy development for the U.S. Center activities are structured to: facilitate device commercialization, inform regulatory and policy decisions, and close key gaps in understanding.
  • University of Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii) National Renewable Marine Energy Center in Hawaii will facilitate the development and implementation of commercial wave energy systems and to assist the private sector in moving ocean thermal energy conversion systems beyond proof-of-concept to pre-commercialization, long-term testing.

Learn more about DOE's Office Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Media contact(s):

Jennifer Scoggins, (202) 586-4940