The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $35 million (£26m) of funding for the development of hydrokinetic turbine (HKT) designs for tidal and riverine currents.
The funding is being awarded under the Submarine Hydrokinetic and Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS) programme to 11 projects, which will address at least one of four generation use-cases: remote riverine energy, remote tidal energy, utility-scale riverine energy and utility-scale tidal energy.
Projects will work towards significantly decreasing the levelised cost of energy of the final HKT design through multiple approaches, including increasing generation efficiency and rotor area per unit of equivalent mass, lowering operation and maintenance costs, minimising potential impacts of surrounding environments and maximising system reliability.
Lane Genatowski, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Director said: “Hydrokinetic energy is an abundant renewable resource that can boost grid resiliency and reduce infrastructure vulnerability but it is currently a cost prohibitive option compared to other energy generating sources.
“SHARKS teams will address this barrier by designing new, efficient HKT systems that utilise America’s tidal, riverine and ocean resources to develop economically attractive energy generation opportunities.”