Marine Energy Research and Testing Network Program Director Announced, New Ocean Observing Prize

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The Water Wire


October 1, 2019

Energy Department Announces Network Director for Marine Energy Research and Testing Program

The Water Power Technologies Office has selected a network director for a new program to support testing and research for marine energy technologies—the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) Program. TEAMER will bring together capabilities from universities and the national laboratory system to provide marine energy developers ready-access to unique, world-class testing facilities and expertise. Through its network of facilities and testing protocols, the program will simplify access and reduce costs of testing for MHK technology developers – ensuring access to the appropriate facilities at the appropriate time.

Logo that says Ocean Observing Prize

DOE Launches New Prize for Innovations in Ocean Observing Platforms

WPTO and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration announced a new $3 million prize that will help generate innovation in ocean observing platforms powered by marine energy. The Powering the Blue Economy™: Ocean Observing Prize will provide a new opportunity for industry and technology innovators to develop marine energy technologies at an attainable scale, while partnering with technologists in the ocean observing community to address energy challenges.

Call for Nominations: Sustaining Ocean Observations Workshop

Due October 9, 2019, nominations are being solicited by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for individuals to serve on the Committee on Sustaining Ocean Observations Phase 2: Workshop. This committee will plan a workshop to explore partnership and organizational models to foster efficiency, continuity, and quality of the most critical ocean observations to support a range of applications and users, both now and in the future. This workshop follows the Phase 1 report, Sustaining Ocean Observations to Understand Future Changes in Earth's Climate. A description of the workshop and task can be found here.

Last Chance to Register for WPTO’s 2019 Peer Review

Don’t miss this opportunity to engage in stimulating discussion that could inform the future of water power R&D! WPTO will host its biennial Peer Review on October 8–10, 2019, at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. All attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the DOE hydropower and marine energy portfolios, contribute to strategic discussions on the future of water power R&D, and network with federal staff, leading U.S. water power researchers, and industry thought leaders. Registration is free but limited so register now! Also, Peer Review attendees are invited to join the Water Inspired Trivia on Wednesday, October 9th.

Additionally, WPTO will host side events on Monday, October 7 – the day before Peer Review. WPTO’s Peer Review and all side events are free and open to the public.

  • Two marine energy workshops will take place – focused on a techno-economic evaluation tool and on long-term cost reduction goals for marine energy technologies. No registration required.
  • Concurrently, the nine concept stage winners in the Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time to Commissioning in Pumped-Storage Hydropower (FAST) Prize will present their concepts to a panel of judges. The FAST prize is designed to accelerate the commissioning times of pumped-storage hydropower projects from 10 years to five, while reducing both cost and risk. Register now to watch the pitch contest in person or watch the live steam on @AMCprizes twitter account.

Deadline Extended: International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) Call for Abstracts

ICOE is now accepting abstracts for next year’s conference through November 15, 2019 EDT. Five topic areas have been identified to focus attention on specific areas of interest, they are:

  • International Developer and Technology Showcase
  • The Future of Our Oceans and Ocean Energy’s Potential to Power the Blue Economy
  • Foundational and Cross‐Cutting Research and Development
  • Enabling the Long‐term Evolution of Ocean Energy Industries
  • How Do We Get There? Securing Funding, Supportive Policies, and Regulatory Acceptance

ICOE 2020 will be held at the Marriott Marquis May 19–21, 2020 in Washington, DC, and the theme is “Energizing a Powerful Blue Economy.” Expanding demand for ocean-derived food, materials, energy, and knowledge is driving rapid growth in the emerging blue economy across the globe. This event is supported by Ocean Energy Systems (OES), an intergovernmental collaboration which operates under a framework established by the International Energy Agency.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Leads Successful Flow Measurement Tests

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers successfully completed field testing of a flow measurement technology known as the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler at Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport, Washington. The new flow meter for short converging intakes is part of an ongoing multi-year research effort. Accurate flow measurement is key for hydropower performance testing and for unit condition monitoring.

woman on a boat wearing a black coat extending her arms to the sides.

Women @ Energy: WPTO’s Carrie Schmaus

WPTO’s Carrie Schmaus was featured by the Energy Department for its Women @ Energy STEM series. An ORISE Science, Technology, and Policy Fellow, Carrie shared how she turned her love of the ocean into a career and offered her thoughts on how to engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM.

Floating Membrane Storage Technology Featured in American Society of Civil Engineering Journal

The American Society of Civil Engineering Journal of Hydraulic Engineering recently published an Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) paper about its prototype floating membrane reservoir system for pumped storage hydropower (PSH). The DOE-funded project is a partnership between Shell Energy North America and ORNL to explore the potential for a floating membrane technology to serve as a storage reservoir for closed-loop configurations. Using a floating membrane could serve as a reliable, safe, and low-cost option for refiguring naturally abundant, open-loop sites into closed-loop opportunities for PSH.

Fish-Friendly Technologies Featured in Marine and Freshwater Research

Marine and Freshwater Research recently published a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) study that used DOE-funded autonomous sensor devices—Sensor Fish and its miniaturized version, Sensor Fish Mini—to evaluate the physical and fish passage conditions of a unique horizontal, flat-plate fish and debris screen known as the Farmers Screen. PNNL’s research demonstrated that the Farmers Screens can provide safe downstream passage for fish and the Sensor Fish technologies are suitable for evaluating irrigation structures and providing important information for the development of sustainable irrigation.

Environmental Monitoring Powered by the Ocean

Supported under WPTO’s Tiriton Initiative, the University of Washington’s Wave-powered Adaptable Monitoring Package (AMP) was successfully demonstrated at the U.S. Navy Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii. For more than six months, AMP’s sensors collected information of marine life interactions around wave energy converters while solely being powered by the ocean’s waves.

In Case You Missed It

Informational Webinar: Marine Energy Collegiate Competition

logo for MECC

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will hold an informational webinar on October 3 at 12:00 p.m. EDT about the recently-announced Collegiate Marine Energy Competition. Designed to challenge interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of programs, students will identify new market opportunities and ways for marine energy to reduce energy limitations across the growing blue economy. Teams must submit applications by October 18th to participate in the competition.

The Competition will be held in conjunction with the International Conference on Ocean Energy 2020 in Washington, DC, in May 2020 and provide students with real-world experience and industry connections that will help them prepare for future careers in marine energy and ocean science & technology. View the competition webpage here.


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