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The Energy Department today announced the opening of the registration period for the Wave Energy Prize competition that aims to double the state-of-the-art performance of wave energy conversion (WEC) devices over the next two years. By accelerating the development of WEC devices that capture more energy from ocean waves, the winning devices will help reduce costs and move wave energy closer to widespread commercial deployment. The Energy Department announced the Wave Energy Prize today at the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference co-located at the National Hydropower Association Annual Conference.

Marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies convert the energy of waves, tides, and river and ocean currents into electricity. With more than 50% of the population living within 50 miles of coastlines, these technologies have vast potential to provide clean, renewable electricity to communities and cities across the United States.

The Wave Energy Prize provides an opportunity for participants to:

  • Win a monetary prize.
  • Receive seed funding to build a 1/20th scale model WEC device for testing.
  • Participate in two rounds of WEC testing--including the final round at the U.S. Navy's Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock, Maryland, the nation's premier wave testing facility.
  • Contribute to the development of innovative clean energy technologies that boost U.S. energy security.

The judging panel will include technical experts from: Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado; Naval Surface Warfare Center—Carderock Division, Bethesda, Maryland; and Ricardo, Inc., Van Buren Township, Michigan. The Department expects to select finalists and alternates in early 2016. Participants can register through June 15, 2015.

This prize competition builds on the Energy Department's ongoing efforts to demonstrate and reduce the costs of these emerging technologies by supporting the design, manufacture, testing, and evaluation of marine and hydrokinetic energy devices. To learn more about the Wave Energy Prize rules, eligibility and timeline, see the Wave Energy Prize web page.

The Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information about wave and tidal energy research and development, see the EERE Water Power Program's Research and Development web page