Oregon Legislature approves $3 million for wave test center

Oregon’s lawmakers have approved a budget bill which includes additional state investment of $3 million for the Oregon State University Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center.

The bill, which needs to be singed into law by Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown, has increased the funding for the development of national wave energy test site by $3 million for the biennium ending June 30, 2019, according to the Oregon State Legislature.

It was approved as a result of a 27-day legislative session focused on emergent needs and making necessary adjustments to the 2017-19 Oregon budget.

Tina Kotek, from the Oregon House of Representatives, said: “Since Oregon continues to face sweeping changes at the national level, we made sure we were spending responsibly given anticipated budget challenges next year and chose to make prudent investments to build a future where everyone has access to the best that Oregon has to offer.”

To remind, the US Energy Department announced the award of up to $35 million in funding for the construction of the center back in December 2016.

The test center, named the Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site (PMEC-SETS), is planned to be operational by 2020 in Newport in Oregon.

When completed, PMEC-SETS will be a utility scale, grid-connected, open-ocean test facility able to accommodate up to 20 wave energy converters (WECs) in four test berths at any one time.

Oregon State University’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NMREC) has been tasked to develop PMEC-SETS to help wave energy device developers bridge a major gap to commercialization, which is – according to US Energy Department’s Water Power Technologies Office – the access to economical testing.