The United States’ first grid-connected wave energy test site is being developed off the coast of the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. The site, known as the Hawaii Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), is located on the windward (east) side of the island at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), at Kaneohe. The site infrastructure is being built by the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) as a means of examining the potential of wave energy to address the energy goals of the Navy. Through a cooperative effort between the Navy and the US Department of Energy (DOE), the site will host companies seeking to test their pre-commercial wave energy conversion (WEC) devices in an operational setting and advance their device technology readiness level. Now fully permitted and consisting of three berths, at water depths of 30m (in place), 60m, and 80m (cabled to shore in spring 2015), all within about 2 km of shore, the site will be capable of hosting point absorber and oscillating water column WEC devices up to a peak power of 1 MW.
This paper describes some of the early research efforts and findings at WETS.