Marine Energy Program

Reducing Barriers to Testing

Project Name: Enabling Cost-Effective Electricity from Ocean Waves: PacWave  

Project Team: Oregon State University (lead), National Renewable Energy Lab, European Marine Energy Centre, Bonneville Power Association, Central Lincoln People’s Utility District, Williwaw Engineering, HDR, HT Harvey & Associates, 3U Technologies, Stoel Rives, David Evans Associates, HGE Architects, Jacobs Engineering, The HDD Co., and RT Casey

Lead Recipient Location: Newport, Oregon

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Construction continued in 2022 on PacWave South, a grid-connected and pre-permitted wave energy testing facility in the United States. The project team, led by Oregon State University, provided engineering, testing, accreditation, consulting, design, conduit drilling and installation, and cable procurement. The team completed the horizontal directional drilling for the conduit, with bores running up to 120 feet below the seafloor. A total of 6.2 miles of undersea and onshore conduit was installed, which will carry cables transmitting power from ocean devices to the local utility. At Driftwood Beach State Recreation Site, the project team installed a vault that will provide access to both subsea and terrestrial cables, resurfaced the parking lot above the vault, and made other improvements to return the site to its original condition. 

Photo of a rectangular cement structure on top of sand, with an open top showing rebar and four conduit pipes angling down into the sand at the side.
At the Driftwood Beach State Recreation Site near Newport, Oregon, the PacWave project team installed a 74-by-17-by-10-foot underground cable vault, where subsea cables will transition to terrestrial cables.
Image from PacWave.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office selected $25 million in projects that will represent the first round of open-water testing at PacWave South. These projects focus on testing wave energy converter technologies, improving wave energy converter designs, and performing research and development to advance the marine energy industry as a whole. 

he PacWave underground cable vault is nearly completed with an opening showing where workers will be able to access subsea and terrestrial cables.
The PacWave underground cable vault is nearly completed with an opening showing where workers will be able to access subsea and terrestrial cables.
Image from PacWave.

Reducing Barriers to Testing Projects