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Hawaii firms get USD 1.5m of DoE funding for seaweed research

Kona Bay, Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii. Author: Robert Linsdell

October 10 (Renewables Now) - Two Hawaii companies have been awarded USD 1.5 million (EUR 1.3m) by the US Department of Energy (DoE) to help advance seaweed as a potential energy source, Hawaii senator Mazie Hirono said on Friday.

Kailua-Kona-based Kampachi Farms received USD 500,000 for the development of an offshore seaweed farm and the testing of harvesting techniques. The other company is Makai Ocean Engineering of Honolulu, which, will get USD 995,978 to create an ocean simulating model to assist researchers in designing and calculating the costs of seaweed farming systems.

"This funding will assess the viability of developing seaweed as an energy source, and explore how to use local resources to meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals," Hirono said of the grants. They come from DoE's Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) programme and are part of a total of USD 22 million of awards to boost marine biomass, announced in September.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.852)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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