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Testing marine energy technologies is inherently more complex and time consuming than it is for land-based energy generation technologies. The slow pace of testing cycles, partially due to expensive and time-consuming permitting processes, is further exacerbated by the limited availability of testing infrastructure at various scales and expensive environmental monitoring. These challenges severely limit the ability of technology developers to quickly assess the performance of devices and components, innovate solutions where necessary, and deploy the next generation of devices. These challenges associated with testing, deploying, and optimizing technologies in a timely and cost-effective manner must be overcome to accelerate the pace of marine energy technology development.

Through its Reducing Barriers to Testing Activity Area, WPTO aims to address these challenges through the following approaches:

  • Enable access to world-class testing facilities
  • Ensure that existing data is accessible and used by regulators 
  • Focus research on mitigating environmental risks and reducing the cost and complexity of permitting and environmental monitoring
  • Engage in relevant coastal planning processes to ensure that marine energy interests are considered.

Featured Publications & Projects

Wave Energy Test Site Advances Toward 2022 Commissioning
Oregon State University has completed the design phase of PacWave South, a grid-connected and pre-permitted wave energy test facility.
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Field Tests Demonstrate Performance of Environmental Monitoring Technologies
The PNNL-led Triton Initiative is supporting the development of more precise and cost-effective marine energy environmental monitoring technologies.
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3rd International State of the Science Report Released
In September 2020, on behalf of the International Energy Agency’s OES collaborative, PNNL released the 2020 State of the Science Report.
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Sandia Develops Method for Quantifying Marine Energy Noise
Sandia National Labs has released reports, open-source codes, and trainings to help quantify MRE device interactions and noise in marine environments.
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The U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research Program
TEAMER is now accepting applications for its first Request for Technical Support (RFTS). The application period will close July 31.
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Project Profile: Triton Initiative
Learn about the Water Power Technologies Office project, Triton Initiative.
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State of the Science Report 2020
OES-Environmental 2020 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World
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Handbook of Marine Hydrokinetic Regulatory Processes
An informational tool intended to help stakeholders easily find and understand federal and state authorization processes for MHK.
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Energy Department Announces up to $22 Million for Marine Energy Foundational R&D and Testing Infrastructure Upgrades
Energy Department announces marine energy funding opportunity to leverage the expertise and intellectual capital of non-federal research institutions.
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