- Ocean Observing Prize

Jenny Wiegele, Carrie Schmaus

Research output: NRELPresentation


The Powering the Blue Economy: Ocean Observing Prize is a $2.4M contest that challenges innovators to develop solutions that integrate marine renewable energy with ocean observation platforms to revolutionize our ability to monitor, manage, and understand the ocean. Competitors are challenged to design, build, and test novel, wave-powered, self-charging autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) systems that could be suitable for a 6-month deployment in the Atlantic Ocean to monitor hurricane formation. Through engagement with the end user ocean observing community, the team identified challenges in a lack of data on storm intensity, endangering coastal communities. This challenge could be addressed by collecting data before, during, and after a hurricane develops and strengthens at sea. Amassing this data, however, requires an ocean observing system that can be deployed at sea for long periods, waiting for approaching storms. To help solve this problem, competitors are working to integrate wave energy capture with AUV systems to collect this data, helping to better protect coastal communities from oncoming storms. Solutions developed through this prize aim to enable long-term collection of data before, during, and after a hurricane that will help better forecast storm intensity. The prize mechanism provides an environment to accelerate technology development for innovators and helps to improve awareness of marine energy and its ability to provide power to blue economy applications.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) 2022 Project Peer Review, 18-22 July 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5700-83265


  • coastal communities
  • Ocean Observing Prize
  • wave energy


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