This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 27, 2010

DOE Partners in a $5 Million Boost for Ocean Renewable Energy Research

DOE, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on October 26 eight joint research awards totaling nearly $5 million to support the siting and permitting of both offshore wind energy facilities and renewable ocean energy projects. This research will address key information gaps regarding the potential environmental effects of renewable ocean energy, and it will help lay the foundation for a clean, renewable offshore energy industry.

Research funded under each of the program's eight topic areas will help reduce the environmental risks and regulatory uncertainties associated with offshore renewable energy deployment. This interagency work compounds the impact of all three agencies' research funding by eliminating redundancies and supporting complementary work. The projects will examine a variety of topics. For example, the University of Washington will evaluate the ability of three classes of active acoustic technologies to monitor animal densities and distributions at a proposed hydrokinetic site. And, the University of Arkansas will develop the Visual Impact Evaluation System for Offshore Renewable Energy, which will allow a user to design the spatial layout and content of an offshore facility. See the DOE press release and the DOE Water power Web site.