M3 Wave lands Oregon BEST grant to develop submerged energy tech
By Erik Siemers
M3 Wave LLC has received a $150,000 grant to further its wave energy technology.
Salem-based M3 Wave LLC has been issued a $150,00 grant from the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center and Oregon Wave Energy Trust to speed-up commercialization of its submerged wave energy technology.
The grant is also designed to help position M3 to receive increased funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and private investors.
M3 is working to commercialize technology developed initially at Oregon State University. Its devices sit on the ocean floor at depths of between 50 and 100 feet and generate electricity by taking the energy from wave movements to inflate and deflate airbags that power a turbine.
The technology is perceived as an alternative to wave energy buoys, but operate out of sight and with fewer conflicts with marine life and water-borne industries.
The Oregon Wave Energy Commercialization Program focuses on advancing a company’s "Technology Readiness Level" — a U.S. Department of Energy term for a technology's stages of development running up to commercialization.
Using capital from the Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the U.S. DOE, M3 has advanced through Technology Readiness Levels three and and is now on the fourth stage. According to the DOE, a technology is deployed at Technology Readiness Level 9.
The new $150,000 grant will help M3 Wave complete TRL 4, which includes creating plans for a pilot fabrication and manufacturing process and developing environmental assessment plans.
“OWET is pleased to partner with Oregon BEST to advance a company like M3 toward commercial viability,” Jason Busch, executive director of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, said in a news release. "This is the kind of investment in Oregon's future that is intended to bring new economic opportunities to Oregon and its coastal communities, and to help us all move toward an energy future that is good for the economy, people and the planet.”
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