US DoE launches Wave Energy Prize competition

US Navy's Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock

US Department of Energy (DoE) has opened the registration period for the Wave Energy Prize competition that aims to double the performance of wave energy conversion (WEC) devices over the next two years.

This prize competition builds on the Energy Department’s efforts to demonstrate and reduce the costs of the emerging technologies by supporting the design, manufacture, testing, and evaluation of marine and hydrokinetic energy devices.

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, DoE’s press release reads.

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 US Navy’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock, Maryland,
  • Contribute to the development of innovative clean energy technologies that boost US energy security.

The deadline for registration is set for June 15, 2015.

U.S. entities are eligible to participate in the Wave Energy Prize. This includes US persons and companies as well as foreign companies that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States.

The team that ranks the highest after testing the 1/20th scale WEC device model will be awarded USD 1.5 mln. The second team will win an award in the amount of USD 500.000, and the third-placed tam will be awarded USD 250.000.

DoE expects to select finalists and alternates in early 2016.

The judging panel will include technical experts from Sandia National Laboratories, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Naval Surface Warfare Center – Carderock Division, and Ricardo Inc.

Image: DoE

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