Projects were selected across four Areas of Interest (AOI)—Hydropower Operational Flexibility, Low-Head Hydropower and In-Stream Hydrokinetic Technologies, Advancing Wave Energy Device Design, and Marine Energy Centers Research Infrastructure Upgrades.
“Hydropower is a valuable national resource and these technologies will make it an even more competitive clean energy option to invest in the Blue Economy,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes.
AOI 1: Hydropower Operational Flexibility
Projects awarded under this area of interest will quantify the flexible capabilities of hydropower and advance operational strategies to increase such flexibility to better serve an evolving grid.
AOI 1a, Quantify Hydropower Capabilities for Operational Flexibility
AOI 1b, Operational Strategies for Increasing Hydropower Flexibility
AOI 2: Low-Head Hydropower and In-Stream Hydrokinetic Technologies
Projects awarded under this area will focus on the development of two types of technologies—standard modular hydropower (SMH) and current energy converters (CECs). CEC technologies extract kinetic energy from rivers without the need for a dam or diversion, whereas SMH technologies use dams or other structures with turbines to create head—differences in water elevation—and generate power.
AOI 2a, Modular Technologies for Low-Head Hydropower Applications will focus on the design and production of entirely new standardized, modular technologies for low-head (30 feet or less) hydropower applications that can balance performance, economics, and environmental sustainability.
AOI 2b, Modular Technologies for River Current Energy Converter Applications will focus on developing and testing CEC systems that can be efficiently deployed and retrieved without the need for significant port or on-site infrastructure and specialized vessels.
AOI 3: Advancing Wave Energy Device Design
Projects awarded under this area will drive performance improvements in WEC devices in preparation for open-water testing, where wave energy has the greatest energy capture potential and lowest unit costs.
AOI 4: Marine Energy Centers Research Infrastructure Upgrades Projects awarded under this area will upgrade necessary infrastructure at existing National Marine Renewable Energy Centers (NMRECs) to enable broader industry access and reduce technical barriers to incubating advanced marine and hydrokinetic technologies.
The University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, will ensure that a coordinated effort is made to enhance marine energy testing and address the highest priority testing infrastructure upgrades required by industry. The NMRECs are organized as follows: