Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Energy Department Announces Network Director for Marine Energy Research and Testing Program

September 17, 2019

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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET) as Network Director for the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) Program, to ensure it runs effectively and efficiently. The three-year program supports testing and research for marine energy technologies and will provide access to test facilities and technical expertise to assist with numerical modeling and data collection in operational and extreme conditions.  

Marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) device developers often face the challenge of raising the needed capital for laboratory and tank testing, which slows the pace of design iterations required to reduce levelized cost of energy. POET will manage the $10 million awarded through the funding opportunity by distributing funding to TEAMER’s network of facilities, providing access to testing infrastructure and reducing testing costs for MHK device developers. The program will be a collaborative effort that includes universities, established DOE National Laboratories and National Marine Renewable Energy Centers. Providing world-class research and testing expertise will facilitate technology development progress, resulting in additional validated designs in the MHK pipeline and transfer capacity to the private sector.

Physical testing of devices and components is a critical step to validate numerical computer models during technology research and development (R&D). MHK device testing is inherently more complex and time consuming than other land-based energy technologies. In addition to the high costs of test facilities like wave tanks and flumes, facilities with appropriate instrumentation and support resources often have limited availability. Previously, the timing of available funding to support testing, from DOE or other sources, has not always aligned with the timeframes when numerous MHK developers have had testing needs during the R&D process.

Reducing costs, accelerating technology development, and decreasing testing and development timelines of marine energy technologies can help realize the nation’s potential for future growth in marine energy resource extraction. The Water Power Technologies Office is committed to investing in early-stage R&D that enables the domestic marine energy industry to advance toward becoming more cost competitive while also helping to promote economic prosperity and energy security.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in early-stage research and development that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information on water power research, development, and testing, see the EERE Water Power Technologies Office's website.