BOCA RATON, Fla. (March 10, 2014) – FAU’s SNMREC recently conducted the first at-sea tests of its ocean current research turbine offshore Fort Pierce. Two, one-hour tow tests provided researchers with new data on the turbine’s behavior for further design, development and validation.
The Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center is dependent upon what is called “soft” funding. This funding is solicited from primarily public fund sources, and is only typically available for specifically negotiated scopes of work for limited durations of time. The program staff at SNMREC are regularly searching for additional sources of funding to sustain the progress and development already achieved towards making Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) a reality. Due to the generosity of the Florida Legislature, SNMREC has successfully leveraged state funds towards attracting federal funding for Center initiatives, and continues to make those funds available for future opportunities. However, as the industry transitions from early concepts and proposed solutions, private partners who benefit from the infrastructure and research that public funds have established, will participate in supporting the maintenance and use of these assets. SNMREC envisions a balanced public/private partnership to sustain the support that SNMREC provides to this growing industry to provide clean, renewable energy to our electric grid.
Although much has been invested to date in support of developing needed test infrastructure, environmental assessment and research, resource characterization, workforce development, regulatory assistance, and technology research, much more remains to accomplish. Our regulators and communities need more data collected to make responsible stewardship decisions about how our oceans will be shared. Private companies who are working hard to commercialize energy conversion devices that will eventually generate the power we use will need test facilities for large scale turbines assistance solving key technology gaps, and a workforce needs to be trained which is ready and experienced designing, building, optimizing, deploying, and operating the facilities and turbines of the future. You can help by:
- Donating to the Center.
- Encouraging your local, state, and federal representatives to provide funding for Centers like ours.
- Volunteering your time to help with our projects.
- Educating your friends and neighbors about this exciting and emerging opportunity!
Please contact MaryJo Robinson for more information.