Energy Dept. sets 9 finalists for $2.25M wave energy prize

The US Department of Energy said it has whittled 92 teams down to 9 finalists for its competition that aims to double the current amount of energy captured from ocean waves.

Each of the finalists in the Wave Energy Prize and two alternates will now receive seed DOE funding to develop a 1/20th-scale model of their deep water wave energy converter (WEC) devices. The final round of testing will take place this summer at the nation's most advanced wave-making facility—the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock, Maryland.

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“Recent studies found that America’s technically recoverable wave energy resource is estimated to range between 898-1,229 terawatt hours (TWh) per year, distributed across the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. For context, approximately 90,000 homes can be powered by 1 TWh per year. This means that even if only 5% of the potential is recovered, millions of homes could be powered by wave energy as the technology progresses,” the DOE stated.

According to the DOE the broader goal for the WEC competition is to spur innovations for new and next generation technologies to be cost-competitive at 15 cents per kilowatt hour (¢/kWh), down from the current range of 61-77 ¢/kWh3.

The nine finalist teams are:

The two alternate teams include:

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