Oregon wave test center steps closer to construction

The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources has approved a $4.6 million funding bill to help construct an open-water wave energy testing facility off Oregon.

The bill in favor of appropriating the money for the construction of the wave testing facility known as the Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site (PMEC-SETS) was passed on April 10, 2017, by a 5 to 0 vote.

The construction of the PMEC-SETS was backed by the US Department of Energy late in December 2016, when the Oregon State University’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) was allocated $40 million to build a wave testing center in Newport.

The cost of construction of PMEC-SETS is estimated to be approximately $50 million, and the US Department of Energy requires the remaining $10 million be funded through cost match, funded by state, philanthropic, and industry support.

To remind, PMEC-SETS has already received funding support in the amount of $800,000 from Oregon last year.

The funding from US Department of Energy, still subject to appropriations, will enable the bildout of the site that will feature four grid-connected berths where researchers can test full-scale wave energy device concepts.

PMEC-SETS is planned to be operational by 2020.

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