FAU made history this week by becoming the first organization in the country to receive a lease from the U.S. government to test ocean energy generating turbines in a federal body of water. The five-year lease was issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The bureau’s acting director, Walter Cruickshank, said FAU researchers’ ongoing effort to capture the power of ocean currents “offers exciting potential to expand the nation’s renewable energy portfolio.” The work will be carried out by the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC), a multi-disciplinary, public/private research initiative based at FAU.
The next step will be for our researchers to submit a detailed description of their plan to install up to three anchored floating test berths, which will be used to evaluate various ocean current turbine designs. Each test berth will consist of a buoy anchored to the sea floor to measure ocean conditions and allow turbine prototypes to be deployed from vessels moored in the Gulf Stream. Testing will take place approximately 10 to 13 miles off the Broward County coast on the U.S. outer continental shelf.
Congratulations to SNMREC Executive Director Sue Skemp and everyone involved in this exciting project! We’re proud of their leadership in pursuing a way to harness the power of ocean currents to produce clean, renewable energy for America.
This project will be a game-changer for FAU research. It represents an exciting opportunity for students, faculty and staff.