US Energy Department has announced the availability of $40m in funding to support the selection, design, permission and construction of an open-water wave energy testing facility within federal and state waters.

The test facility will collect critical information from energy devices which include technical risks, lowering costs, future design aspects to address commercialisation and deployment of wave energy technology in the near future.

The Energy Department says that the proposed test facility could have at least three test berths where wave energy devices could be tested separately and simultaneously. It also said that this funding is subject to congressional appropriations.

The funding will be available for research and development from laboratory and field testing of components for demonstration and deployment of utility-scale systems.

The department is expecting that with advancements in wave energy technologies could make it possible for the US to tap the renewable source of energy.

According to estimates, the country can tap between 900 – 1230 terawatt hours (TWh) of wave energy per year from its long coastal lines starting from the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

It could be huge contribution to the country’s energy mix as 1TWh of power about 90,000 homes per year.

The Energy Department says that as part of its marine and hydrokinetic technology research and development efforts, it is working to optimally harness renewable source of energy, which remains untapped for a very long time.

It also noted that wave energy could be a viable option for producing electricity in the US, as the country has strong wave and tidal resources and more than 50% of the country’s population live within 50 miles of coastline, making power transmission much easier and economical.