On May 20, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced the 17 teams chosen to participate in the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition: Powering the Blue Economy™.

In its third iteration, the competition provides real-world experience and industry connections to help prepare next-generation innovators for future careers in the marine energy sector and the blue economy. Multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students will unlock the power of the ocean, rivers, and tides to offer unique solutions that build resilient coastal communities and provide power at sea.

For this year’s competition, teams will not only create a market-research supported business plan and develop, design, and test technologies, but they’ll also have the opportunity to build and test their device to achieve energy production.

Submissions can run the gamut from concepts that aid in ocean observation and underwater vehicle charging to desalination and more, including—but not limited to—the markets identified in DOE’s Powering the Blue Economy™ report.

The following teams will compete in the 2022 competition. Teams include a mix of new and returning universities, along with five international universities spanning the globe from Sao Paulo to Belfast. This diverse set of universities include coastal locations and land-locked states, smaller universities and much larger ones, and range from California to Massachusetts, Texas to Michigan. 

  • Boise State University
  • California State University, San Marcos – partnering with New Mexico State University
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Michigan Technological University
  • North Carolina A&T State University – partnering with University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • Texas A&M University at Galveston – partnering with Sam Houston State University, University of Rochester, University of Sao Paulo, Qatar University, and University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Houston
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Washington
  • Virginia Tech – partnering with Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Virginia Tech – partnering with University of Maine and Queen’s University Belfast
  • Webb Institute

“The potential for innovation in the blue economy space is vast,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “We are excited to see how creative teams will rise to the challenge to develop marine energy technologies that can be sustainably powered to support coastal communities and economies.”

The 17 teams will have nearly a year to develop their concept and prepare to pitch their plan to a panel of expert judges and potential investors at Water Power Week in Spring 2022.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory administers the competition on behalf of WPTO. Learn more about the competition and sign up for email alerts to keep up with the latest from the MECC.