Oregon State University has submitted a plan for the construction and operation of a wave energy test site off the Oregon coast.
The project is designed to allow commercial wave energy developers the opportunity to test different technologies for harnessing the untapped energy of ocean waves, OSU explained.
Submitting the draft license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, opens a 90-day public comment period. The draft license application is a key component of a $35 million grant that Oregon State University received in December 2016 from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and build the site.
The project has also received financial support from the State of Oregon.
“Submitting the draft license application is an important milestone for this project,” said Burke Hales, the chief scientist for the project and a professor in Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “It represents five years of work by a dedicated group of more than 40 partners from federal, state and community groups, including the Fishermen Involved in Natural Energy (FINE), who represent the local fishing interests.”
The test site will be located about seven miles west of Seal Rock, between Newport and Waldport on the Oregon coast.
The test site will be connected with cables to a shoreside facility where electricity generated by the wave energy converters will be “conditioned” and fed onto the local utility distribution system.
The ocean test site will accommodate up to 20 wave energy converters with a peak capacity to generate as much as 20 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 20,000 homes when operating at full capacity, OSU noted.
Oregon State University is expect to submit a final license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late 2018.