Oregon Begins Testing Wave Energy

Joanna Schroeder

Oregon is beginning testing wave energy as a potential renewable energy resource. Northwest Energy Innovations has installed a wave energy device off the coast of Newport, Oregon known as Wave Energy Technology-New Zealand (WET-NZ). The technology has been deployed at the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center’s (NNMREC) open ocean test facility.

“This is a huge milestone for the WET-NZ technology, for Oregon, and for the wave energy industry as a whole,” said NWEI Program Manager Justin Klure. “We are excited to have the opportunity to lead the deployment of the WET-NZ device off Oregon’s coast with the support of NNMREC, our funding partners and a host of marine professionals.”

The WET-NZ is a multi-mode waver energy converter and maximizes energy capture by harnessing power from the heave, pitch and surge motions of passing waves. From there, the power generated is transmitted through an underwater cable to the test center’s Ocean Sentinel, the instrumentation buoy that dissipates the electricity and records power performance data.

Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) Executive Director Jason Busch said of the project, “OWET’s mission is to responsibly develop the ocean energy industry in Oregon, and helping NWEI get the WET-NZ in the water is a major step towards achieving that goal. In-ocean testing will move the technology towards commercialization and lead to a better understanding of technology performance and impacts in real-world conditions. This is a major accomplishment for NWEI, NNMREC and Oregon.”

The technology is the product of a research consortium between Industrial Research Limited, a Crown Research Institute, and Power Projects Limited, a Wellington-based private company.  The deployment portion of the project is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and OWET.

Electricity, Energy