Category: News

Washington, DC - The Energy Department announced six awardees selected to receive a total of $6.7 million in federal funding to support the development of innovative technologies capable of generating reliable and cost-effective electricity from U.S. water resources. Each award had been selected as an alternate in a previous funding opportunity.

This funding comes from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Water Power Technologies Office. A key goal of the water office is driving down the cost of energy from marine energy devices. Marine energy technologies are at an early stage of development due to the fundamental scientific and engineering challenges of generating power from complex, low-velocity and high-density dynamics in a corrosive operational environment. Improving installation, operation, and maintenance (IO&M) strategies is an essential step toward that outcome. To that end, the Igiugig Village Council (IVC) in Alaska, in partnership with the Ocean Renewable Power Company of Maine, was selected to receive $2.3 million in funding to further design, construct, and test the RivGen cross-flow river current turbine system, and incorporate improved IO&M strategies early in the design phase, resulting in improved operational costs and device availability.

"Marine energy technologies have the potential to provide millions of Americans with locally sourced, affordable, and reliable energy," said Daniel Simmons, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for EERE. "This is why DOE’s research and development is critical to advancing American economic growth and energy security, especially for rural communities that have high energy costs but abundant marine energy resources."

Work performed by the IVC will support early-stage research on design concepts that have potential to increase energy capture and annual energy production of devices, improve reliability and availability, and reduce capital and operating costs. The project is a continuation of work begun in 2017 to identify specific unique electrical generation requirements for systems that operate in remote off-grid communities. The RivGen system has the potential to offset higher cost electricity generation sources by delivering consistent baseload energy in remote locations.

Five additional projects were also selected to receive $4.4 million from EERE to address technology development challenges for marine energy systems. The additional five selected projects are as follows:

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen U.S. economic growth, energy security, and environmental quality.