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New award asks entrants to seek innovative solutions to help ensure energy durability in extreme ocean conditions

The vastness of the oceans holds great potential for exploration and discovery. However, the challenges of working in such environments, such as access to reliable power, can get in the way. To address this issue, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water and Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has launched the Powering the Blue Economy™ program: Offshore Power Generation Prize, a $1.7 million challenge to Drive innovation in marine energy technologies.

The prize competition invites teams to develop offshore technologies that can harness the ocean’s vast energy potential to support marine activities while minimizing environmental impacts. The award is divided into two phases: concept and development.

In the concept phase, teams will refine their early ocean energy technology designs and select specific blue economy challenges to address. These challenges include

Increasing the ease of offshore operations by reducing the cost of electricity or improving maintenance.
Extending deployment durations by enabling equipment to operate at sea for longer periods of time.
Improving energy storage to enable offshore technologies to collect more data or survey larger areas of the ocean.

New award asks entrants to seek innovative solutions to help ensure energy durability in extreme ocean conditions

Minimize environmental impacts on marine ecosystems.
Address challenges such as the growth of marine life and overcome harsh operating conditions.
Combine marine energy with other renewable energy sources to fill the power gap created by variable energy sources such as solar and wind.
Provide the right kind of power to meet the needs of a wide range of offshore technologies and maximize their efficiency.
Up to 20 winning teams will receive $200,000 in cash prizes at the end of the concept phase. These teams will then move on to the development phase to further refine the design and receive support to continue developing the technology after the award. Up to 20 winners in the development phase will receive $1.5 million in cash prizes. In addition, teams will receive technical support through office hours, webinars, webinars, and training on ocean energy, blue economy applications, commercialization best practices, and other relevant topics.

The Ocean Power concept phase is now open for applications and will close on July 26, 2024 . To learn more about the challenge, attend the first webinar on November 29, 2023

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