A consortium of academic institutions, including the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Stony Brook University, Lehigh University and Coastal Studies Institute, has formed a new research and development centre focused on ongoing needs for sustainable renewable ocean energy.

Illustration (Courtesy of U.S. DOE)
Illustration (Courtesy of U.S. DOE)

Atlantic Marine Energy Centre (AMEC) will be one of only four National Marine Renewable Energy Centres (NMREC) in the country.

AMEC has been awarded $9.7 million over four years from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the consortium informed.

The consortium and several energy partners will collaborate to advance ocean energy technology through research, education and outreach, complementing work from the DOE’s National Labs.

Collaborators on the research are also the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, European Marine Energy Center and Old Dominion University.

The scientific understanding and overall effectiveness of wave energy and tidal energy conversion, including wave-powered water pumps and tidal turbine farms, is going to be AMEC’s focus.

Furthermore, applications for ocean sensing, aquaculture, resilient coastal communities, supply chains, marine foundations and marine microgrids will be explored.

According to UNH, expansion of existing projects will include the university’s Living Bridge project located on the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth which provides tidal energy to the Memorial Bridge that connects New Hampshire and Maine.

Researchers will also pursue accreditation for the project to become a scaled test site for tidal energy.

“This is an exciting opportunity to expand on existing research and advance new technologies in a rapidly evolving field”, said Martin Wosnik, AMEC director and principal investigator.

“We’re looking forward to working with our partners on new solutions for marine energy, building upon current projects and implementing vital laboratory capabilities and open water testing sites for future advancements”.

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