A Kiwi wave-power project has been granted more than $2 million from the United States Government.
Wave Energy Technology New Zealand (Wet NZ) will use the grant to build a quarter-scale version of its device, which uses waves to generate electricity, in the US state of Oregon.
The device would then be tested in waters off the state's Pacific coast.
Wet NZ - a partnership between crown research institute Industrial Research and private Wellington-based company Power Projects - will also do research in wave-tank facilities at Oregon State University.
Power Projects director John Huckerby said there were no wave tanks in New Zealand.
"[The grant] allows us to expand our programme and accelerate it."
Wet NZ says the grant came after its US partner, Northwest Energy Innovations, submitted a bid to the US Department of Energy.
Huckerby said Northwest Energy Innovations would negotiate with the US Government over when the Oregon research could begin.
"We're expecting it will be the end of March next year before the contract is finalised."
Wet NZ was one of 27 projects to get US Energy Department funding.
Huckerby said he expected the wave-power device to be commercialised within five years.
Its target markets would initially be the European Union and US, Australia and New Zealand, where patent applications had been lodged.
Alister Gardiner, a manager at Industrial Research who has worked on the wave-power project, said the US funding was a major coup.
He said conducting research in the US would allow the wave-power technology to be "taken to the next level".
"It's a step along the research pathway towards demonstrating a viable product," Gardiner said. He said the device could be generating "hundreds of millions" in revenue by 2020.
Gardiner said the project had had several million dollars in New Zealand Government funding since it began.
Sourcing private funding in NZ had proved challenging, he said.
Wet NZ has had a quarter-scale wave-power device - which generates 2kW in power - deployed off the Christchurch coast since 2006.
The research collaboration was also developing a half-scale version of the device, which was expected to generate 20kW of power when deployed in New Zealand waters next year.
Gardiner said the device's full-scale, commercial version would have a peak capacity of about 200kW.By Christopher Adams