Ocean Wave Energy Technology and Oregon's Process #renewable #energy

December 7, 2012
NNMREC (rhyme it with ‘limerick’) is embarking on the creation of PMEC (Pacific Marine Energy Center). PMEC will be an open ocean, grid connected, 4 berth, prototype and commercial test facility for ocean wave energy converters. The decision to locate this facility off of either Newport or Reedsport, Oregon is to be made by the end of the 2012.  The balance of the funding is expected to come from the DOE, the State of Oregon, BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management), and private funding. Once the location is decided, licensing is expected to take 1-3 years.

OPT (Ocean Power Technologies) began testing off of New Jersey coast in the late 1990s and applied for its first FERC permit for testing off of Oregon in 2006. OPT has completed 1 of 3 phases of its Reedsport project proving the seaworthiness of an autonomous PB150 (Power Buoy150) in the waters off of Reedsport. Phase 2, launching in spring 2013, is to establish10 grid tied PB150s for a total 1.5MW sustained maximum output. Phase 3 scales the existing project to 50MW. True to its legacy as a groundbreaker, OPT will be responsible for the first commercial wave park on the US West Coast.

Energy is being harvested from ocean waves by numerous means YouTube has over 2,000 videos on ocean wave energy conversion technologies. Each of these early players has their own take on the best way to do this. Oregon has attracted Ocean Wave Energy start-ups and veterans alike from around the world. Atargis Energy, a cycloidal turbine based technology out of Colorado Springs, CO, expects their LCOE to be in the range of 8-14 cents per kWh, relative to the DOE’s estimated 18-34 cents per kWh (depending on several variables and a margin of error of ± 30% for ocean wave technology and .22 cents per kWh for off-shore wind. 

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