January 25, 2022—The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office has awarded CalWave (“CalWave Power Technologies, Inc.”) funding to further develop its proprietary xWave™ technology. This $7.5 million award will enable CalWave to validate its technology for use on local energy grids and microgrids.

“This award presents us with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate wave power connected and exporting electricity to the US main grid,” said CalWave CEO and Co-Founder Marcus Lehmann. “We are honored to be a part of the effort to decarbonize the grid and reach the U.S. goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Thank you to all of our partners and supporters on this and previous projects.”

Wave energy technologies can bridge the critical gap in the transition to a carbon-free electricity grid. Waves are created by wind blowing over the surface of open water in the ocean, and this movement results in a substantial amount of natural energy. Wave energy converters, which capture and convert waves into carbon-free electricity, require testing in realistic conditions to be deployed at scale.

CalWave’s xWave™ Wave Energy Converter (WEC) device is built on the game-changing industry advancements for which the company was awarded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2016 Wave Energy Prize. CalWave’s solution stands out with having high efficiency and wave load mitigation united in one architecture. The xWave™ architecture achieves the highest efficiency by operating fully autonomously and fully submerged which allows for protection from aggressive swells and storms, while also permitting energy capture from multiple degrees of freedom. The load mitigation allows the xWave™ to survive the 50-year storm without driving up the structural cost of the system. Additionally, the technology has been deemed to have an acceptable environmental impact according to the latest State of Science report.

As part of this project, CalWave will scale the xWave™ for testing at the PacWave South test site, which will be the nation’s first accredited, grid-connected, pre-permitted, open-water wave energy test facility. 

“Harnessing the unrelenting power of the ocean is a clean, innovative, and sustainable way to curtail carbon pollution — benefitting American businesses and families, especially coastal communities hit hardest by the impacts of climate change,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in the official announcement. “Diversifying and expanding our clean energy sources will usher in a new era of energy independence that makes the grid more resilient, curbs the climate crisis, and saves Americans money on their energy bills.”

“I am excited to see the U.S. Department of Energy make a $25 million investment into PacWave’s research and development on wave energy, the largest untapped renewable energy source in the world,” said New Jersey Assemblyman Karabinchak. “The projects currently underway on the West Coast will showcase the technology’s incredible potential to supplement our power grid, and I anticipate its success and expansion here on the East Coast soon.”


About CalWave

Founded in 2014, CalWave is a California-based developer of clean energy technology designed to generate electricity and freshwater from ocean waves. Through rigorous research, innovation, and testing, CalWave offers next-generation solutions that protect our planet and unlock the potential of its global citizens. 

Our mission is to bring superior wave energy technology to the global market, empowering coastal communities to transition to fully sustainable and reliable power starting with 500 MW by 2030.

CalWave’s vision is to address climate change and preserve global biodiversity by unlocking the power of ocean waves to provide 25% or more of global energy.

The company is a member of the National Hydropower Association’s Marine Energy Council, which is calling for domestic marine energy deployment targets of at least 50 MW by 2025, 500 MW by 2030, and 1 GW by 2035.


About the Water Power Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office enables research, development, and testing of emerging technologies to advance marine energy as well as next-generation hydropower and pumped storage systems for a flexible, reliable grid. For more information, visit energy.gov/water/.


Julie Mai
Head of Communications