The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will give notice in the March 13 Federal Register of the availability of the draft Wave Energy Prize competition Rules and Terms and Conditions and will request public comment on the Rules and Terms and Conditions.
The prize is designed to achieve gamechanging performance enhancements to wave energy conversion (WEC) devices, establishing a pathway to sweeping cost reductions on a commercial scale. The prize consists of three phases—design, build, and test and evaluation. Prize purses to the winner(s) are: Grand Prize ($1,500,000), 2nd Place Finisher ($500,000), and 3rd Place Finisher ($250,000).
DOE said it intends to launch the Wave Energy Prize in April 2015. DOE will accept public comments on the draft Prize Rules and Terms and Conditions through March 20.
DOE noted: “The wave energy industry is young and is experiencing many new innovations as evidenced by a sustained growth in patent activity. While the private industry is developing these early-concept WEC devices through design and benchtop prototype testing, funding is hard to secure for performance testing and evaluation of WEC devices in wave tanks at a meaningful scale. This is a problem for the industry since scaled WEC prototype tank testing, validation, and evaluation are key steps in the advancement of WEC technologies through the technical readiness levels to reach commercialization.”