The Energy Department has invested $40 million in the development and construction of an open-water, grid-connected national wave energy testing facility in Newport, Oregon.
DOE said Wednesday the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University will build the wave energy testing facility and help develop new wave energy technologies to harness wave energy resources along the U.S. coastlines.
Funding for the Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy test site will come from both federal and non-federal funds and DOE expects the construction to conclude in early 2020.
â€œThis new facility will help us to advance the science and technology of wave energy devices, and to identify the challenges we will ultimately need to overcome in order to achieve commercial deployment,â€ said Franklin Orr, undersecretary for science and energy at the Energy Department.
The new test facility will house four grid-connected berths for researchers to test wave energy conversion device concepts.
DOE notes that studies indicate America’s recoverable wave energy resource covers up to 1,230 terawatt hours per year, spread across the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.