Last September, The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), based out Oregon State University with University of Washington as a partner, was awarded the first installment of funding for the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC).
PMEC will be the countries first utility-scale, grid connected test site for wave energy devices on the West Coast. Modeled after the successful European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland, PMEC will test energy generation potential of wave energy technologies while monitoring the environmental impacts of those devices. After evaluating four towns along the Oregon coast, NNMREC has chosen Newport, OR as the host town for PMEC. The specific location off of Newport has yet to be determined, but the finalized site will be approximately 5 miles from shore and will be selected in collaboration with other ocean stake holders and will not impede with shipping lanes or environmentally sensitive areas.
PMEC will have four test berths, or designated areas for testing individual devices, each of which will be connected to the community’s electrical grid. Subsea cables will transmit energy from the wave devices to the local power grid (see figure below).
For more information on PMEC, please visit NNMREC’s website at: http://nnmrec.oregonstate.edu/