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U.S. university to build premier wave energy test facility

Xinhua, December 28, 2016 Adjust font size:

Oregon State University (OSU) has received 40 million U.S. dollars award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to build what its calls the world's premier wave energy test facility.

With the U.S. federal government funding, OSU, in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, plans to have its Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site, or PMEC-SETS, operational by 2020 at its Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC).

The facility is designed to test wave energy "converters" that harness the energy of ocean waves and turn it into electricity.

"We anticipate this will be the world's most advanced wave energy test facility," Belinda Batten, the director of NNMREC and a professor in the OSU College of Engineering, said in a statement. "It will play an integral role in moving forward on the testing and refinement of wave energy technologies."

The DOE award will be used to design, permit, and construct an open-water, grid-connected national wave energy testing facility, which will include four grid-connected test berths.

The technologies are complex and expensive, Batten said in a news release. "These devices have to perform in hostile ocean conditions; stand up to a 100-year storm; be energy efficient, durable, environmentally benign; and perhaps most important, cost-competitive with other energy sources."

"This facility will help answer all of those questions, and is literally the last step before commercialization," she added. Endit