To demonstrate that ocean currents, like the Gulf Stream, offer powerful power-generating opportunities, FAU’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) engineers recently deployed a turbine that generated electricity from the current for a continuous 24-hour period.
Unlike other conventional renewables that only generate power intermittently, the Gulf Stream offers utility-scale baseload power.
Industry partner OceanBased Perpetual Energy, LLC, Miami, Fla., is planning a large scale commercial ocean current turbine installation offshore south Florida and requested FAU’s help to achieve this milestone.
The team deployed a turbine built by SNMREC in cooperation with another South Florida company, Ocean Current Energy, LLC, under a Florida Office of Energy grant in 2018-19.
Led by Bill Baxley, SNMREC’s chief engineer, the team also demonstrated FAU’s unique expertise deploying turbines more than 20 miles offshore from commercial work vessels.
The U.S. Department of Energy has recently awarded $1 million to FAU to expand its towed turbine testing capabilities to accommodate larger turbines and SNMREC’s partnership with the City of Lake Worth Beach, which will bring more opportunities for economic development in Palm Beach County.
SNMREC is currently planning an expansion of its U.S. Department of Energy center with other universities along the eastern U.S. seaboard and will lead a new consortium to help harness our tides, waves and ocean currents.