DOE Designates New National Marine Renewable Energy Center for Ocean Energy Research
August 03, 2010
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, has been designated a national center for ocean energy research and development. This new Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center joins centers in the Pacific Northwest and in Hawaii that also work to advance the operational readiness of ocean energy technologies.
In addition to the $1 million in funding appropriated to Florida Atlantic University last year, with this designation DOE has awarded the Center $250,000 to undertake research and development of technologies capable of generating renewable power from ocean currents and ocean thermal energy. Florida Atlantic University is ideally located to oversee development of equipment that can generate sustainable, cost-competitive electricity from ocean energy resources in the Florida Straits and the Gulf Stream.
With this competitively-selected investment, DOE is expanding the nation's assets for testing and deploying innovative new approaches to clean energy generation. Innovative approaches are crucial to addressing climate change and building a strong renewable energy economy, both in Florida and across the nation.
The Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center will collaborate with industry partners to investigate, refine, fabricate, and test promising next-generation water power technologies to harness the ocean's vast energy potential. The Center's researchers have already begun this work by deploying ocean current observation systems and by starting to manufacture ocean energy device support structures. The Center will ultimately perform full-scale field testing of prototype devices, an important step toward the successful development of innovative new ocean energy systems. As a public institution of higher education, Florida Atlantic University will also promote public awareness of ocean energy research and development.
DOE's Wind and Water Power Program supports the development of marine and hydrokinetic devices, which capture energy from waves, tides, ocean currents, marine thermal gradients, and the natural flow of water in rivers, without building new dams or diversions. To learn more about these technologies, please visit the Wind and Water Power Program Web site.