Funding to reduce barriers to marine, hydrokinetic energy

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a competitive funding opportunity designed to support the growing marine hydrokinetic energy industry.  $1.9 million is available for projects that will improve the collection and analysis of environmental monitoring and experimental data from marine hydrokinetic devices. 
Looking east from Griffith Head, Reid State Park, Maine.  Damariscove Island, a proposed offshore wind site, sits on the right horizon.

Marine hydrokinetic energy technologies capture the energy embodied in moving ocean water such as tides, currents, and waves.  While the marine hydrokinetic industry is relatively young, at least one project has been licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and built off the Maine coast.  Research and development efforts are ongoing regarding a variety of marine hydrokinetic technologies and devices, and their environmental impacts continue to be studied.

The recently-announced federal funding aims to support that environmental evaluation.  Working with the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind and Water Power Technologies Office has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement entitled “Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Environmental Effects Assessment and Monitoring.

Under that Funding Opportunity Announcement, the Department of Energy offers $1.9 million in funding to be split by up to 11 recipients.  Specific project areas include studies of fish behavior and mortality around hydrokinetic turbines, improved environmental monitoring of marine hydrokinetic projects, and predictive modeling of marine hydrokinetic projects' environmental impacts based on surrogate technologies with stressors and receptors similar to those expected from marine hydrokinetic technologies.

Under the competitive solicitation, the Department of Energy requested Letters of Intent to be submitted by 11:59 Eastern Time on April 18, 2013. Full applications, which must include specified documents, must be submitted by 5:00 PM ET on May 16, 2013.  For more information, visit the Department of Energy's official Funding Opportunity Announcement website or contact Todd Griset at Preti Flaherty.

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