The Northwest National Marine Energy Center, which is based at Oregon State University, for its selection of the coastal town of Newport as the future home of the first utility-scale, grid-connected wave energy test site in the U.S. – the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC).
In September, the Pacific Marine Energy Center was awarded $4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy and was joined by a non-federal cost match. The Northwest National Marine Energy Center will continue to work to secure additional funding sources.
The selection of Newport was ultimately based on ocean site characteristics, marine and on-shore cable routes, port and industry capabilities, impacts to existing ocean users, permitting challenges, stakeholder participation in the proposal process and support of the local fishing communities.
Subsea cables will transmit energy from the wave energy devices to the local power grid and data to scientists and engineers at on-shore facilities about five miles away. It will also collect data on environmental and human dimension impacts.
The exact ocean location for the PMEC site will be finalized in the coming months in collaboration with ocean stakeholders, including local residents and fishing communities. It will not impede shipping lanes and will take environmental impacts into consideration.