WPTO Announces $10.5 Million in Marine Energy Projects at the National Laboratories

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Water Power Technologies Office


Dec. 19, 2022

Banner announcing the newsletter name "The Water Column" with an image of the ocean at sunset behind it.

Welcome to the Water Column, a monthly snapshot of marine energy news and happenings. This month’s newsletter will take approximately six minutes to read. 

Reach out to us at WaterPowerTechnologiesOffice@ee.doe.gov with any inquiries or suggestions.

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Did You Know?

You can find all of the videos from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) on a YouTube playlist. From basics to highlights of at-sea deployments, there is something to interest everyone.

Upcoming Deadlines

Announcements & Opportunities

WPTO Announces More Than $10.5 Million in Marine Energy Projects at DOE National Laboratories: WPTO announced $10.5 million in new marine energy projects as part of an announcement of new research and development projects across six national laboratories. The projects include $2.7 million in marine energy “sapling” projects under WPTO’s Seedlings and Saplings program, which encourages the funding of new and innovative research ideas at the national laboratories. Four marine energy projects that fall under topics from the New Remote Coastal Community Work—Microgrid Application and Environmental Monitoring Campaign are funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, whereas the remaining marine energy projects are funded through WPTO’s Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations. Read the announcement to learn more.  

Three Water Power and Blue Economy Projects Named Semifinalists in EPIC Prize: DOE named the semifinalists in the American-Made Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize Round 2. Twenty-four incubators and accelerators were each awarded $50,000 in cash prizes for their ideas that support energy start-ups and entrepreneurs. BlueSwell’s Broadening Blue Entrepreneurship and Braid Theory’s Energizing the Blue Economy were among the semifinalists. WPTO also selected the Seaworthy Foundation’s Founder Mentorship Program for a technology-specific bonus prize. The semifinalists will have four months to implement their proposed programs after which DOE will select 10 finalists to be awarded $100,000 each and move on to the final phase. 

Deadline Approaches for Small Business Funding Opportunity: The SBIR/STTR programs offer competitively awarded grants to small businesses to support scientific excellence and technological innovation, and Phase I Release 2 of the Fiscal Year 2023 programs includes five water power topics.The deadline to submit letters of intent is 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 3, 2023. Missed the webinar on Dec. 1, 2022? Check out WPTO’s SBIR webinar recording and review the slides to catch up!

Applications Due Soon for SULI Summer 2023: The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships program encourages undergraduate students and recent graduates to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers by providing research experiences at DOE national laboratories. Selected students participate as interns at one of 17 participating DOE laboratories/facilities. They perform research, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers, on projects supporting DOE’s mission. The deadline to apply for the summer 2023 term is 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 10, 2023.

Application Deadline Approaches for WPTO’s $10 Million Funding Opportunity to Advance Marine Energy: There is still time to submit a full application for the $10 million funding opportunity from WPTO aimed at accelerating the development and testing of marine energy technologies with a focus on wave and ocean current resources. This opportunity will invest in projects that advance wave-powered technology innovation, research, and development for seawater desalination, as well as a feasibility assessment for an ocean-current test facility. The deadline to submit full applications is 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 24, 2023. More information can be found on DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Funding Opportunity Exchange.

NOAA Announces $30 Million Funding Opportunity for Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking applications and proposals for their $30 million funding opportunity focused on marine carbon dioxide removal. To be eligible for this funding opportunity each proposing team just comprise participants from at least two of the following sectors: academia, private sector, or government. The deadline to submit full applications is Feb. 28, 2023.   

Applications Open for Next Round of TEAMER Technical Support: The TEAMER program is accepting applications through March 3, 2023, for its next RFTS. The access period for teams to utilize facilities for RFTS 9 is August 2023–April 2024. Sponsored by WPTO and directed by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust, TEAMER offers marine energy stakeholders and developers access to the nation’s best facilities and expertise to support technology development and testing. Apply for the next round today, and learn about the latest technical support recipients.

Technology Commercialization Fund Submissions Now Open: WPTO is partnering with the DOE Office of Technology Transitions and eight other DOE program offices for this year’s Technology Commercialization Fund Base Annual Appropriations Laboratory Call. Potential topics for funding include Market Needs Assessment, Curation of IP, Matchmaking, Technology Specific Partnerships, Streamlining Laboratory Processes, and Increasing External Partnerships. The deadline to submit full applications is 3 p.m. ET on March 17, 2023.

Upcoming Events

Oceanology International Americas

Feb. 14–16, 2023, San Diego, California

Oceanology International Americas is an event for all those involved in exploring, protecting, and sustainably operating in the world’s oceans and waterways. Are you planning to attend? Visit staff from WPTO and the national labs at the WPTO booth in the U.S. Government Ocean Hub!

Products & Publications

Major Funding Opportunities Discussed at WPTO Semiannual Stakeholder Webinar: WPTO hosted its latest semiannual stakeholder webinar in November and shared details with hydropower and marine energy stakeholders from industry, academia, and government on the office’s latest funding opportunities, accomplishments, and projects. Speakers focused on the historic amount of funding available for water power projects as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure law and Inflation Reduction Act and spotlighted marine energy device deployments, recent prize competitions, and workforce development activities.

The Dummy Payload That’s Actually Very Smart: Learn about the dummy payload designed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers that played a key role in determining the efficiency of marine energy device prototypes during the WPTO’s Powering the Blue Economy: Ocean Observing Prize Competition.

Making Marine Energy Testing Easier, Safer, and More Affordable: Promising marine energy technologies must go through extensive—and sometimes expensive—testing and permitting to edge closer to commercial success. WPTO is making it easier for developers to access testing facilities, navigate the permitting process, and ensure their prototypes can safely coexist with marine wildlife and ecosystems. Watch as this video explains the opportunities, facilities, partners, and other resources available to help marine energy developers advance their technologies.

In Case You Missed It

Environmental Effects of Marine Energy Video Series: An important part of combating climate change is understanding the potential of renewable energy sources such as marine energy and how to deploy devices responsibly and sustainably. OES-Environmental and PNNL, with funding from WPTO, partnered to produce an illustrated video series on the potential environmental effects of marine energy. This video series covers everything from an overview of the topic to a deep dive into the risk to marine animals from underwater noise. Check out these videos and more educational resources about environmental science for marine energy on the Tethys website. Resources include everything from a coloring sheet for kindergartners to college-level reading materials.

Social Spotlight

A beach sunrise.

WPTO on LinkedIn — Dec. 16, 2022 

Surfing the web for marine energy data? Look no further. The PRIMRE database, hosted by @NREL, @SandiaLabs, & @PNNLab, is a centralized portal for everything marine energy. Sea what you can find🌊🔽.

Follow along on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook channels for more #WaterWednesday content each week.

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