Offshore Energy Targeted By UMass Dartmouth

Add together tidal, wave and wind and there is an estimated 500 gigawatts (GW) of potential energy available off the coast of New England. That’s a lot of juice and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth has big plans for it.

The university has established the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center and partnered with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to launch the first in-ocean demonstration project of a tidal energy device in Massachusetts. The device, a prototype underwater turbine designed for use in rivers, was lowered into the ocean near Muskeget Channel.

UMass Dartmouth ocean energy

image via New England Marine Renewable Energy Center

The two groups also have plans to establish a 300-square-mile, first-in-the-nation test site off Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The National Offshore Renewable Energy Innovation Zone will be an ocean-based technology incubator site for testing offshore energy devices – such as wind, wave or tidal – that companies hope to bring to market. The site is said to be unique because it offers a variety of ocean characteristics within a relatively small area.

NOREIZ

image via National Offshore Renewable Energy Innovation Zone

UMass Dartmouth is also conducting a study to determine the infrastructure needed to support a marine-based renewable energy industry. The study will focus on manufacturing, port and workforce impacts and describe the jobs associated with construction, assembly and maintenance of these systems.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.