Pacific Marine Energy Center to land in Newport
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The Pacific Marine Energy Center will feature four test births at a site about five miles offshore.
The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center announced Monday that it will locate the first utility-scale, grid-connected wave energy test site in the U.S. in Newport.
The federally funded wave energy research center, which is based at Oregon State University, had last year narrowed its search to site what will be called the Pacific Marine Energy Center to Reedsport and Newport.
Newport won out and following permitting and other development work will host wave energy devices at an ocean site about five miles off shore. Undersea cables will transmit power from the devices to the local power grid.
The Pacific Marine Energy Center will be 50 percent funded by $4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center is working on funding sources for the balance of the project's price tag.
Jason Busch, executive director of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust said in a press release Oregon will reap the benefits from the center for years to come.
The Pacific Marine Energy Center is expected to have four “test berths,” for testing individual devices or small arrays of wave energy devices. It will also collect data associated with environmental impacts. Completion will take several years.
The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center is already testing devices in the ocean, notably its Ocean Sentinel, which was deployed last year in the ocean north of Yaquina Head.
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