The three-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement will see the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (MREC) team up with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
MREC is leading an experimental marine renewable energy programme in the Muskeget Channel off Nantucket, which started in July with the testing of underwater turbines that generate electricity through tidal power. Meantime, NREL houses the nation's premier laboratory facilities for testing offshore wind and water power devices and maintains a staff of offshore-trained test engineers and technicians who conduct a wide range of field measurements to verify system performance and dynamic responses.
In the initial year of the collaboration, the team will focus on assessing MREC sites and assessing priority infrastructure needs along with developing test protocols appropriate for the MREC sites. These test protocols will also inform the development of general test protocols for the marine hydrokinetic power (MHK) community.
“It’s a great partnership,” said MREC executive director John Miller. “We’ve got the in-water test facilities up and running with MHK devices operating, and NREL has the technical expertise and experience to ensure we make the most out of devices operating on-site by collecting valuable test data.”