Marine Sciences Meets Renewable Energy
The Marine Sciences Laboratory, located on Sequim Bay in Washington's Puget Sound, offers capabilities in ecotoxicology, analytical chemistry, wetland and coastal ecology, fisheries, ocean processes, instrumentation/remote sensing, risk assessment, and biotechnology/remediation.
There are nearly 95,000 miles of tidal shoreline in the United States and PNNL's Marine Science Lab (MSL) in Sequim, WA is uniquely suited for exploring ways to harness the coastline as a safe, environmentally friendly source of renewable energy. In a significant step forward to understanding the energy potential of the U.S. coast, the DOE's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office granted MSL—the DOE's only marine research laboratory—$735,000 to establish the Marine Energy Environmental Technology (MEET) Initiative.
The aim of the initiative is to develop and advance instrumentation for monitoring the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. As part of MEET, MSL will collaborate with industry partners, regulators, and other national labs to deliver meaningful marine renewable energy environmental technology and research. MSL will oversee the growth and management of the initiative over the next three years with an annual funding of roughly $1 million per year.
Marine wind and hydrokinetic technologies can convert energy from offshore winds, ocean waves, tides, and currents into electricity. Unlike other sources of renewable energy, such as inland wind turbines or solar panels, marine generated power could prove more consistent and reliable. If successful, marine generated electricity could become a significant source of renewable energy.