Carpinteria-based Ecomerit Technologies, the latest company from the founders of Clipper Windpower, will get a $2.4 million federal grant to pursue its technology for generating renewable energy from ocean currents.
U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced the grant Sept. 20. It will come from the U.S. Department of Energy, as part of $37 million in funding for 27 different marine energy projects across the country.
Ecomerit’s founder and CEO, Brent Dehlsen, is a former executive at Clipper Windpower in Carpinteria. His father, James Dehlsen, is Clipper’s chairman and is also involved with Ecomerit.
Ecomerit has also received $1.35 million in federal stimulus act funding, according to a news release from Capps’ office.
The grants will fund Ecomerit’s Aquantis C-plane, an underwater turbine that the company plans to build off the coast of Florida.
“This has the potential to provide the southeastern coastal states with gigawatt amounts of clean, renewable electric power, enabling state compliance with future federal renewable energy mandates, while creating thousands of quality jobs in manufacturing, turbine deployment, and for crews of the fleet of operating and maintenance vessels that will follow,” Brent Dehlsen said in the release from Capps’ office.
The latest grant is “an important milestone” in the project, Dehlsen said.
In December, he told the Business Times that Ecomerit was seeing “pieces of grant funding,” but not enough to fund complete commercialization of the technology.
“We’re generally optimistic, but I think on a larger scale the credit markets need to continue to thaw out, and we need to continue to get support on the research and development side,” Dehlsen told the Business Times.