The nascent marine renewable energy (MRE) industry requires robust tools to maximize power output while evaluating the potential environmental effects of marine hydrokinetic (MHK) devices. Wave energy converter (WEC) devices in particular, are in early stages of development and may deploy a wide range of technologies to harness wave energy. The technical activities and processes used to assess WEC arrays for both power production and environmental effects requires streamlining to lower the levelized cost of wave energy projects and facilitate timely, cost-effective environmental review and compliance. A robust approach using numerical models to simulate the WEC devices and array layouts is presented that simultaneously evaluates power production and assesses environmental effects. "WEC-friendly" open-source numerical tools have been developed that are capable of assessing the environmental force on and potential changes to the environment caused by the energy extraction by WEC arrays. A case study is presented to demonstrate how the changes in WEC array configurations can be mapped and quantified using a validated model. A discussion of how changes in WEC devices and array configurations are developed to provide critical information on both engineering and environmental risk. This allows for optimization of WEC deployments to maximize power capture while minimizing environmental impacts.

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