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Grants Will Help Mass. Undersea “Kites” Project

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BOSTON (AP) — Three Massachusetts research facilities are getting a boost from the federal government, including money to help find out if undersea “kites” can reliably produce renewable energy.

The National Science Foundation is awarding nearly $2 million to spur research projects in science and engineering.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute will receive more than $300,000 for a project looking at the harvesting of hydrokinetic energy using tethered undersea kites designed to take advantage of powerful tidal forces.

It’s not the first attempt to plumb the oceans for renewable energy. Other undersea projects have relied on turbines.

Undersea power is attractive partly because tides are very predictable, compared to wind energy.

The other grants are going to unrelated projects by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which is getting two grants totaling about $1.4 million. Tufts University will receive $300,000.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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