The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a total of US$16 million for 17 wave and tidal energy programs.
The agency said its goal is to "help sustainably and efficiently capture power from waves, tides and currents", with marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) generating sources being included as part of President Barack Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy strategy.
Department of Energy studies show a potential of up to 1,400 TWh of generation per year, with each terawatt hour capable of providing enough power for 85,000 homes.
"Wave and tidal energy represent a large, untapped resource for the United States," Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson said.
Included in the agency's allocations is $13.5 million in funding that will be used to help eight American entitites build more efficient MHK projects. The department said the recipients will "develop new drivetrain, generator and structural components, as well as develop software that predicts ocean conditions and adjusts device settings accordingly to optimize power production."
Meanwhile an additional $2.4 million has been awarded to nine projects that will gather and analyze environmental data from wave and tidal projects, as well as potential areas of development. The agency said the funding will ensure ecological impacts are addressed proactively.
Receiving DOE funding are Dehlsen Associates, LLC; Ocean Renewable Power Company, LLC; Resolute Marine Energy, Inc.; ABB, Inc., Columbia Power Technologies; Ocean Energy USA, LLC; Ocean Power Technologies, Inc.; the University of Maine; the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the University of Washington; Oregon State University; Florida Atlantic University; H.T. Harvey & Associates; and the Vantuna Research Group.
For more information on each specific allocation, visit the Department of Energy's website here.
HydroWorld.com reported that DOE was sought applications for the funding programs in two solicitations earlier this year.