AquaHarmonics has been declared a winner of US Department of Energy’s Wave Energy Prize challenge, securing a $1.5 million cash prize.
CalWave Power Technologies and Waveswing America were awarded second and third place, respectively, with $500,000 and $250,000 in cash prizes, following an 18-month long competition.
Ninety-two teams registered for the competition back in April 2015, for which the main goal was to develop game-changing wave energy devices that will ultimately reduce the cost of wave energy.
Lynn Orr, US Department of Energy’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy, said: “The Wave Energy Prize marks a significant advance for marine energy. This competition set a difficult threshold of doubling the energy captured from ocean waves, and four teams surpassed that goal. AquaHarmonics’ technology leap incentivized by the Energy Department demonstrates how rapid innovation can be achieved in a public prize challenge.”
AquaHarmonics was competing with its point absorber with latching/de-clutching control wave energy converter, CalWave Power Technologies with submerged pressure differential device, and Waveswing America with subsea pressure differential point absorber wave energy device.
Over the course of the competition, a panel of judges ultimately identified nine finalists and two alternates, which were announced in March.
These teams received up to $125,000 in seed funding to build scaled prototypes of their wave energy converter devices.
With the support of the US Navy, the finalist teams tested their prototype devices at the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin at Carderock, Maryland.