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Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site
Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site.
Source: Oregon State University.

Project Summary

In conjunction with other research and testing activities, Oregon State University (OSU) is developing the Pacific Marine Energy Center—South Energy Test Site (PMEC-SETS), a grid-connected test facility, to evaluate wave energy conversion device performance, including performance within small arrays, environmental interactions, operations and maintenance, and survivability. OSU selected a site approximately 6 nautical miles off the coast of Newport Oregon that met expected requirements for full-scale wave energy devices, with an annual average wave power density requirement of greater than 30 kilowatts per meter and a depth of at least 50 meters.

Project Snapshot
Project TitlePacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site 
AwardeeOregon State University
Awardee HQ LocationOregon
DOE Funding Amount$2,250,000
Awardee Cost Share$718,060
Program AreaNext-Generation Technology Development and Manufacturing
Recipient TypeUniversity
Award TypeCompetitive Funding Opportunity Announcement
Year Awarded2013
Work LocationsNebraska, Oregon, Texas, Washington
Funding OpportunityFY 2013 MHK (Wave) Testing Infrastructure Development
Congressional District(s)NE-2, OR-3, OR-4, TX-8, WA-7


What You Need To Know


The high cost of in-water testing is a major technology-development burden for device developers in the United States. PMEC-SETS’s facilities will serve as an integrated test center for wave energy developers to economically evaluate performance and ecosystem impacts of a utility-scale wave energy center (WEC) or small array. At PMEC-SETS, developers will have the opportunity to optimize their devices and arrays, as well as to learn about deployment, retrieval, operations, and maintenance, while minimizing environmental impacts and increasing reliability and survivability. Additionally, PMEC-SETS will provide a training ground for future jobs in the ocean energy industry.

  • Reduce costs and time for permits and licenses and reduce monitoring and deployment costs throughout project life.
  • Provide a suite of technical contractors and prospective employees to support industry needs for MHK research and development.
  • Provide the only U.S. site for utility-scale WEC array demonstration and development.
  • Inform sound decisions about marine renewable energy development by increasing the understanding of potential effects.
  • Conduct geophysical surveys.
  • Finalize locations of terrestrial project infrastructure.
  • Conduct cultural survey.
  • Complete Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Draft License Application.

About the Water Power Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office advances cutting-edge technology to modernize the U.S. hydropower fleet and drive U.S. leadership in wave and tidal energy, with the goal of delivering low-cost power and resiliency to America’s power grids.