Northwest Nets $2.4 Million
by Robert McClure
Wow. The Northwest continues to be a center for innovation on alternative energy, judging from the news late this afternoon that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $2.4 million over the next two years for research here on tidal and wave energy.
And actually, there's a pretty good chance the two-year total will rise to $3.6 million, plus more in outlying years. DOE awarded two one-year, $600,000 grants to Snohomish PUD, whose efforts on tidal energy were covered well by my colleague Tom Paulson here and here.
Snohomish will use the money to continue its studies of the underwater topography and geotechnical information. The utility is looking at seven sites around Puget Sound to use tidal power, and examining 12 proposed equipment designs. It hopes to move to a pilot project in two to three years.
The other grant today, for one year and $1.2 million, is being split between the University of Washington and Oregon State University. Oregon State is coupling that with a bunch of other money to state wave power offshore. The U-Dub will look into tidal power in Puget Sound. That grant is renewable for up to $1.2 million for up to another four years, the Energy Department says. According to a UW news release, the university's share of the five-year grant is $1.2 million -- although the other release indicates they will have to re-apply annually.
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