The Department of Energy has allocated $ 25 million to eight teams for testing wave energy technology at PacWave South at the University of Oregon off the central coast of Oregon near Newport.
Construction began in June 2021 on a facility worth about $ 80 million that will be located approximately seven miles offshore. Upon completion, PacWave South will become the first commercial, grid-connected wave energy testing site in the United States. It is expected to be operational in 2023, and network testing is expected to begin next year.
“The DOE announcement is an exciting new development in the pursuit of renewable energy from ocean waves,” said Burke Hales of Oregon, PacWave’s chief scientist and professor at the OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “This commitment to conduct water testing at the PacWave site is a bridge from conceptual or scaled-down projects to operational energy production in a fully energetic open ocean. It also demonstrates the agency’s long-term commitment to the completion and operation of the PacWave test center. ”
Funded projects will focus on wave energy converter designs for use in geographically remote areas or small networks; design of transducers that can be connected to the mains or disconnected from the mains; and research and development related to environmental monitoring, instrument systems that operators use to control wave energy converters and other technologies.
The $ 4.5 million University of Portland is among the recipients of funding.
“Wave energy is an important part of the strategy to combat the climate crisis, and I am pleased that the University of Oregon, the University of Portland and our state will play a central role in developing this energy source to the fullest,” said the United States. Senator Ron Wyden. “I look forward to the fact that innovative minds at both OSU and PSU, as well as elsewhere, are evolving through these projects that are putting our country on the path to a clean energy future.”
The Department of Energy and Oregon partnered in 2016 to build the PacWave South facility to explore how to use carbon-free wave energy generated from wind blowing over the sea surface. PacWave South, pre-approved by the Department of Health, is designed to alleviate the challenges of testing technology in the open ocean.
“PacWave in Oregon is at the forefront of wave energy, thanks in large part to researchers at Oregon State University,” said U.S. spokeswoman Susan Bonamichi. “This $ 25 million federal investment will allow us to test innovative technologies from across the country, including from the University of Portland, here in Oregon, bringing us closer to realizing the potential of this vast resource.”
The University of Washington, which receives $ 1.3 million, is the second university among the recipients of funding.
The other six groups are CalWave Power Technologies Inc. from Auckland; Columbia Power Technologies Inc. from Charlottesville, Virginia; Dehlsen Associates, LLC, Santa Barbara; Oscilla Power Inc. from Seattle; Integral Consulting of Seattle; and Littoral Power Systems, Inc., New Bedford, Massachusetts.
“It was impressive to see how far the industry has come in the last decade or so, thanks to investment from the Ministry of Health and support from the state and other structures,” said Tuba Ozkan-Haller, acting dean and professor at OSU Earth College. Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Full-scale testing at PacWave will undoubtedly further accelerate development, ensuring that wave energy conversion devices are efficient and effective when using the power of Oregon’s majestic waves with minimal adverse environmental impact. ”