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The Azura device sits 30m out from the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Oahu.

The Azura device sits 30m out from the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Oahu.

With support from the Energy Department and the U.S. Navy, a prototype wave energy device has advanced successfully from initial concept to grid-connected, open-ocean pilot testing. The device, named Azura, was recently launched by Northwest Energy Innovations at a 30-meter test berth at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii.

Designers of this first-generation prototype wave energy converter (WEC) device aimed to maximize energy capture while building it to withstand the challenging ocean environment.  Pilot testing is giving U.S. researchers the opportunity to monitor and evaluate the long-term performance of a grid-connected WEC device in the open ocean. The current phase of in-water testing at the WETS’s 30-meter test berth has already proven valuable in identifying deployment issues, gathering performance data, and developing operations and maintenance procedures. The lessons learned from the Azura deployment will accelerate commercialization of this technology.

The project supports the Energy Department’s mission to research, test, and develop innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective electricity from clean energy resources, including water. Marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies, which generate power from waves, tides, or currents, are at an early but promising stage of development.  To accelerate commercialization of wave energy devices, the Energy Department funds research and development, from laboratory and field-testing of individual components up to demonstration and deployment of complete utility-scale systems.

The Water Power Program is committed to developing and deploying a portfolio of innovative technologies for clean, domestic power generation from resources such as hydropower, waves, and tides.

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