State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2011OH239B
Title: Generating Renewable Energy on Lake Erie with Wave Energy Converters: A Feasibility Study
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 9/01/2011
End Date: 9/ 1/2012
Congressional District: 15
Focus Categories: Models, Surface Water, Water Quality
Keywords: Modeling, waves, alternative energy
Principal Investigator: Kubatko, Ethan John
Federal Funds: $ 25,537
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 50,799
Abstract: The State of Ohio currently generates around 90 percent of its power from coal. In addition to being the largest single man-made source of greenhouse gases, the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, is also the biggest contributor to acid rain, which is responsible for a large percentage of the toxins found in the Great Lakes. So-called nonpoint source pollution, such as acid rain and also agricultural runoff, now accounts for most of the water quality problems found in Lake Erie and its tributaries. In an effort aimed at reducing Ohio's dependence on electricity generated from coal-burning power plants, the primary objective of this proposal is to investigate the feasibility of generating clean, renewable energy on Lake Erie by harnessing the Lake's wave energy through the use of a novel kinetic energy harvesting technology called an nPower Wave Energy Converter (WEC) developed by Tremont Electric, LLC, a Cleveland-based alternative energy company. Specifically, in order to better quantify the amount of energy that could potentially be generated using the WEC concept, and to identify optimal placement of the devices within the Lake, computer-based wave simulations will be performed to characterize the wave energy density of the Lake.

Progress/Completion Report, 2011, PDF

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