By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
DARTMOUTH – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s New England Marine Renewable Energy Center landed a $535,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the college announced Friday.
The grant will fund efforts to sustainably develop ocean energy technology and follows an earlier grant of $175,000 to MREC for testing existing devices this summer.
In addition to the grant, the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs designated MREC to serve as the Bay State representative for managing a proposed 27-square-mile offshore technology test zone.
The proposed area – the National offshore Renewable Energy Innovation Zone – would be located in federal waters south of Massachusetts and would be the first permanent zone of its kind in the U.S. to test and demonstrate offshore renewable energy such as wind, tide and wave.
The area “will enable marine renewable energy companies and research institutions to accelerate the development and commercialization of such technologies, lower research and development costs, and provide a training site for clean energy engineers, researchers, and students,” said the UMass Dartmouth release.
Currently, the world’s only permanent test site for offshore renewable energy is located in Scotland.
“UMass Dartmouth and MREC are really leading the offshore energy revolution in the United States,” University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret said in a prepared statement. “This grant demonstrates how UMass is developing new industries that will create sustainable jobs and energy.”