Welcome to the Triton Initiative

We Research Environmental Monitoring Technologies For Marine Energy

Marine renewable energy (MRE) is a broad term for harnessing the power of the ocean to produce electricity. A key to development and widespread use of this renewable resource is understanding environmental impacts of MRE systems to help streamline permitting processes and progress the industry in an environmentally responsible manner. To address these needs, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed the Triton Initiative.

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The Triton Field Trials team hosted the Collaboration for Marine Renewable Energy Environmental Monitoring Guidelines webinar at the Global OCEANS 2020 Conference. Watch the webinar to learn more. 


Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory
Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory
MCRL’s capabilities and facilities include vessels, a research dive team, and scientists and engineers with a range of expertise.
Dive equipment
Current Triton Projects
Triton supports projects focused on noise, EMF, animal interaction, habitat mapping, and integrated sensor packages.
Dock over water
Useful Links
Here we provide useful links to key reports, industry activities, developers, and marine renewable energy centers and tests sites.


Triton supports development of advanced and cost-effective environmental monitoring technologies for MRE applications. This support includes access to Sequim Bay at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL’s) Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory (MCRL), which was previously known as the Marine Sciences Laboratory. MCRL at PNNL-Sequim is a marine testing location that is permitted for the deployment of environmental monitoring devices, as well as vessel and scientific crew support. The Triton Initiative covers a number of activities to develop environmental monitoring technologies. These include access to testing sites and technical expertise to support competitively selected awardees through DOE funding targeted at improving technical performance while reducing costs of environmental monitoring technologies. Specifically, Triton is working with project awardees funded through DOE “funding opportunity announcements” (FOA) to develop innovative designs for monitoring technologies and advance their technical readiness level for in-water deployment. During this process, FOA awardees conduct baseline testing, compare the design to existing technologies, benchmark improvements, and deploy the technology in the water for final demonstration.  PNNL supports these projects from the baseline testing phase through measuring and developing improvements before final demonstration.

The Triton portfolio also focuses on building the knowledge base of marine animal interactions with tidal turbines and quantifying environmental impacts of MRE devices. This work is accomplished through the development of data processing algorithms and in-situ observations. Triton aims to support the development of commercially available environmental monitoring technologies, benchmark technological improvement, and streamline the environmental permitting process by better understanding potential risks associated with MRE technologies.

Through PNNL’s Triton Field Trials (TFiT), researchers work to advance environmental monitoring for marine energy device deployment by developing common standards and guidelines for data collection and analysis. TFiT promotes data transferability, which allows regulators to understand impacts on a broader basis and provide developers with clear methodologies for data collection.

With all of these efforts, Triton facilitates collaboration between industry, academia, and the national laboratories. This allows collaborators to easily share data and ideas and pioneer solutions to the industry’s most difficult questions.