The U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") continued its support of marine and hydrokinetic ("MHK") technology development on Tuesday, announcing that Florida Atlantic University has been designated as the nation’s third national center for ocean energy research and development.  The Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center ("SNMREC") joins centers in the Northwest, at the University of Washington and Oregon State University (jointly, the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center) and in Hawai’i, at the University of Hawai’i.

With an additional $250,000 grant from DOE, the SNMREC will continue to focus research efforts on technologies designed to convert ocean currents like the Gulf Stream as well as ocean thermal energy into electricity for the grid.  On a personal note, I had the opportunity to visit FAU’s Dania Beach (SeaTech) campus in November 2009 to take part in the USNC TAG/TC-114 "Marine Energy- Wave and Tidal Energy Converters" international standards process.  I was impressed by the students, faculty, and the facilities at the Institute for Ocean and Systems Engineering and I look forward to seeing FAU excel in its new role.