Energy Department plans to build wave energy test facility in Oregon

The U.S. Energy Department recently said it plans to invest up to $40 million in a new national wave energy testing facility near the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University in Portland.

The funding covers design, permitting and construction of the facility that would test wave energy technologies that harness energy produced by the ocean along coasts, an as yet untapped renewable resource, the department said in a news release.

“Testing innovative wave energy devices at full scale in open water is an important step toward harnessing one day a reliable energy resource,"  Energy Department Under Secretary for Science and Energy Franklin Orr said. "Anyone who has swum or surfed in moderate ocean waves knows something of the power they (waves) represent. ... This 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.”

The facility is slated for completion in early 2020 and would be connected to the energy grid, allowing researchers to test concepts that would convert wave energy on a full scale. The Energy Department expects the facility to play a critical role in developing wave energy technology and making it a commercially viable resource, both in the U.S. and internationally.

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US Department of Energy

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