The Secretary shall award grants to institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) for the establishment of 1 or more National Marine Renewable Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Centers. In selecting locations for Centers, the Secretary shall consider sites that meet one of the following criteria:
(1)Hosts an existing marine renewable energy research and development program in coordination with an engineering program at an institution of higher education.
(2)Has proven expertise to support environmental and policy-related issues associated with harnessing of energy in the marine environment.
(3)Has access to and utilizes the marine resources in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, or the Pacific Ocean.
The Secretary may give special consideration to historically black colleges and universities and land grant universities that also meet one of these criteria. In establishing criteria for the selection of the Centers, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, on the criteria related to ocean waves, tides, and currents including those for advancing wave forecasting technologies, ocean temperature differences, and studying the compatibility of marine renewable energy technologies and systems with the environment, fisheries, and other marine resources.
The Centers shall advance research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of marine renewable energy, and shall serve as an information clearinghouse for the marine renewable energy industry, collecting and disseminating information on best practices in all areas related to developing and managing enhanced marine renewable energy systems resources.
(c) Demonstration of need
When applying for a grant under this section, an applicant shall include a description of why Federal support is necessary for the Center, including evidence that the research of the Center will not be conducted in the absence of Federal support.
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