Marine energy—power generated from ocean waves, currents, tides, and temperature changes—is the world's largest untapped renewable energy resource. However, further work is needed to optimize marine energy device designs and reduce costs.
This competition invites interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students to:
By participating in the MECC, students build the real-world experience and industry connections that will help them prepare for careers in the marine energy sector and the blue economy.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) launched the MECC in 2019. Learn more about the past cohorts of competitors:
The MECC invites selected teams to identify a promising market within the blue economy and to determine the best marine energy application within that market to address. Over the course of school year, teams develop materials for two required contests and one optional challenge, outlined below. Teams present their work at the MECC final event, typically held in conjunction with typically held in conjunction with the National Hydropower Association’s Waterpower Week or a similar industry event.
MECC teams compete in four required contests:
General Competition Timeline
For a detailed competition timeline, please visit the Timeline tab.
Spring: MECC organizers open the application period for the 2024 competition. Interested teams fill out an application to compete during the upcoming school year.
Spring-Summer: MECC organizers select the teams who will participate in the upcoming school year and present their work at the HCC final event.
Fall–Winter: Selected MECC schools assemble their teams and enter midyear submissions, including a team story, a list of hydropower industry interviewees, and a stakeholder engagement plan.
Winter–Spring: MeCC teams continue preparing their competition submissions, including challenge reports, presentations, and posters.
Spring: HCC teams present their work at the MECC final event, expected to be held in conjunction with the National Hydropower Association’s Waterpower Week or a similar industry event.
The MECC brings together diverse, multidisciplinary groups of students to:
The MECC directly aligns with DOE’s overall goals of improving energy affordability, energy technology integration, and energy storage.
Competitors will identify a promising market within the blue economy (either a market identified in the WPTO Powering the Blue Economy report or another feasible market within the blue economy). Students will then determine the best marine energy application within that market to address.
Review the MECC 2024 Rules to learn more.
If you have any questions or want to receive updates on the prize, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at Water.Competition@nrel.gov.