The US Energy Department will make available up to $40m in funding for the development of new open-water wave energy test facility within US federal or state waters.

The funds will be used for site selection, design, permitting, and construction of new facility to support the full-scale testing of wave energy devices.

The devices will address the ocean environment challenges faced by wave energy systems which operate in harsh and unpredictable conditions.

Comprising at least three test berths to simultaneously and independently test wave energy devices, the new facility will gather critical performance data to address technical risks and reduce costs.

The test site will also inform future designs aimed at accelerating the commercialization and deployment of wave energy technologies.

The funding will be granted to one project, which will build an open-water, grid-connected, fully energetic wave test facility.

DOE said that the marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies, which harness power from waves and tides to generate electricity, are at an early but promising stage of development.

According to recent studies, US’ technically recoverable wave energy resources are estimated between 900 TWh and 1,230 TWh per year. They are distributed across the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.