FAU wants to test underwater turbines

Dylan Bouscher

The FAU Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center wants to use underwater turbines to generate energy from the Gulf Stream current. Photo courtesy of the FAU SNMREC.

Imagine underwater turbines generating renewable energy. Now picture FAU’s name on those turbines.

The university already applied to test the turbines 15 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Now, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is reviewing FAU’s application and hearing what the public has to say about the turbines. Next Wednesday the BOEM will explain the project and ask for public input at 2 p.m. The forum will be in the Broward County Main Library, near the Fort Lauderdale campus.

If approved, the turbines will generate energy from the current of the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is a strong ocean current which stretches the Atlantic Ocean. Some students are concerned about the risk of environmental damage posed by this potential renewable energy source.

“As long as it doesn’t cause more harm than good,” Mike Solley said, a senior mechanical engineer major. “Clean energy is just a fad. Clean energy is not dirty or clean, it’s just energy.”

Larry Scott agreed about the renewable energy these turbines could generate. Scott is a junior mechanical engineer major. “It seems pretty cool,” he said. “But it depends on how much harm is done to the environment.”

To learn more about the turbines, attend the public forum next Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Broward County Main Library.