Jennette’s Pier Selected, CSI Partners for Final Round of DOE Competition

East Carolina University’s Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) will partner with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to host the final round of the Waves to Water Prize competition at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

The competition, hosted by the Water Power Technologies Office at the DOE, is a five-stage, $3.3 million contest that pits teams against one another to develop technologies that uses wave energy to power desalination systems. The goal of the competition is to create small, cost-effective systems that can deliver clean water to communities throughout the globe by using wave energy to remove salt from ocean water to create potable water.

Costal Studies Institute Front

East Carolina University’s Coastal Studies Institute is partnering with Jennette’s Pier and the Department of Energy to host the final round of the Waves to Water Prize competition.

Jennette’s Pier will host the final “DRINK” stage of the competition in the Spring of 2022. During this stage, teams will build and test their devices over a period of five days adjacent to the pier.  The DOE cited the  “research experience, technical expertise and infrastructure” as main factors in its selection of CSI and Jennette’s Pier as the test site location.

“We are truly excited about the opportunity to work with DOE and Jennette’s Pier on the Waves to Water competition,” said Dr. Reide Corbett, executive director of the Coastal Studies Institute and dean of ECU’s Integrated Coastal Programs.  “We have a great team of scientists at CSI as part of the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program and this partnership is a culmination of their hard work and dedication.

“This competition will bring the nation’s best innovators to the Outer Banks and show our community, region and state the utility and possibilities of nearshore renewable ocean energy.  These devices could provide drinking water to isolated communities without freshwater resources or our own community following natural hazards.  We are thrilled to partner with DOE to provide the technical expertise and infrastructure to make the final stage of this competition a reality.”

The DOE announced 17 Waves to Water Prize second-round winners earlier this month. The winners move on to compete in the “ADAPT” third round. During the “ADAPT” round, competitors design flexible systems to meet site conditions at Jennette’s Pier. Participants have 180 days to prepare their submissions. Up to 10 winners will move on to the fourth round with winners announced in November 2020.

The Coastal Studies Institute – a multi-institutional partnership between East Carolina University, N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University – operates a National Renewable Energy Lab permitted open water test site with Jennette’s Pier. ECU is the administrating institution for CSI.

Learn more about the competition online at the DOE’s Waves to Water Prize website.