US Energy Department backs ocean energy R&D projects

Resolute Marine's wave energy device (Photo: Resolute Marine Energy)

The Department of Energy of the United States (US DOE) has selected three ocean renewable energy projects to receive up to $150,000 each in research and development grants.

The projects to receive the grants are part of US DOE’s Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Boston-based wave energy developer Resolute Marine Energy has been selected to further advance its wave-powered desalination system.

Resolute Marine will use the grant to develop numerical models that will provide the insight needed to optimize the dynamic performance of the system, permit detailed performance and cost studies, finalize the plant configuration, and ensure successful transition to physical prototypes, DOE said.

New Hampshire-based Creare is another company awarded a grant to conduct research into low-cost desalination system driven by hydrokinetic power.

The company will seek to develop technology for low-cost desalination of water in coastal regions with water scarcity by harnessing power from ocean and tidal currents.

US DOE also supported the research into the salinity gradient power technology by awarding a grant to Physical Optics Corporation to develop a system that produces hydrogen by osmotic disparity.

The hydrogen produced may be stored, transported, and used in remote locations as a clean energy source, according to DOE.

The grant awards were announced on June 20, 2017, and DOE noted that all Phase I project grants are 6-12 months in duration.

The SBIR and STTR programs were created by Congress to leverage small businesses to advance innovation at federal agencies.

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