The HKT design will be carried out under the Submarine Hydrokinetic And Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS) programme


The Forrestal Building, United States Department of Energy headquarters on Independence Avenue. (Credit: Wikipeida/ US Department of Energy)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $38m in financing for a new programme which aims to design economically attractive hydrokinetic turbines (HKT) for tidal and riverine currents.

The HKT design will be carried out under the Submarine Hydrokinetic And Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS) programme of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

ARPA-E director Lane Genatowski said: “The SHARKS programme builds upon the foundation of previous ARPA-E programmes focused on utilising our nation’s natural resources to explore new ways to generate renewable power.”

“We view this programme as a great opportunity to further diversify America’s energy needs, and provide new and efficient energy generation sources for the nation’s grid.”

The new programme will fund the development of new HKT designs applying methodologies such as Control Co-Design (CCD), Co-Design (CD) and Designing-for-OpEx (DFO), which would require expertise from various scientific and engineering fields.

SHARKS will finance the development of new solutions for hydrodynamics, mechanical structures, materials, hydro-structural interactions, electrical energy conversion systems, control systems, numerical simulations and experimental validations. 

SHARKS projects will work towards a reduction in Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of up to 61.5%

The programme also aims to pursue an up to 61.5% reduction in Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) compared to existing advanced HKT systems.

Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said: “America’s tidal and riverine currents remain a valuable resource for the generation of clean and reliable electricity.

“Developing efficient, economically attractive hydrokinetic turbine technologies will enable the United States to utilise those resources and continue to diversify our energy generation infrastructure and increase grid resiliency.”

Recently, the US DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) had announced a $22m funding for marine energy foundational research and development (R&D) and to expand testing capacity to advance the marine energy industry.

The funding will help non-federal research institutions in the US in leveraging their expertise for the development of the marine energy industry and address the complex scientific and technical problems.