UMass Dartmouth receives grant for Vineyard ocean energy project

The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth’s New England Marine Renewable Energy Center (MREC) has received a $535,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to support MREC and its efforts to sustainably develop ocean energy technology in New England.

MREC has also been designated by Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan to serve as the Commonwealth’s representative for managing a proposed 27-square-mile offshore technology test zone known as the National Offshore Renewable Energy Innovation Zone (NOREIZ), located in federal waters south of Massachusetts.

NOREIZ 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, according to a press release.

This summer, MREC will oversee testing of new devices that use wave and tidal power to generate clean electricity in federal waters in Muskeget Channel, which runs between Chappaquiddick and Nantucket.

Edgartown is exploring the opportunity of generating electricity from the tides in Muskeget Channel. In parallel, MREC would establish a research and development testing facility to support the development of tidal energy technology.