Looking For Ocean Wave Energy At The Pacific Marine Energy Centre

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Waverider Buoy
The European Marine Energy Centre’s Waverider Buoys allow researchers to measure wave energy potential.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Scotland’s world-leading marine and tidal energy development facility, today announced a major collaboration with Oregon Wave Energy Trust and its partner, Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre (NNMREC). EMEC will deliver advice and support on the design, set up, and operation for the NNMREC Pacific Marine Energy Centre (PMEC), a grid-connected marine energy test centre proposed for development off the Pacific Northwest coast.

The new centre is designed to harness the significant wave energy resource available along North America’s west coast and will remove a major barrier to the development of the marine energy technology industry in the US, by providing the region’s first standardized testing facilities in real-world conditions.

Experts from EMEC are uniquely placed to advise their American colleagues, having successfully supported the deployment of more grid-connected devices at full-scale wave and tidal testing facilities than at any other single site in the world, from their base in Orkney, Scotland.

PMEC will demonstrate the viability of wave energy by delivering a fully functional ocean test facility for prototype and commercial-scale devices. When complete, the centre will offer up to four test berths connected to the regional grid, each with capacity for testing devices up to one megawatt in size.

Richard Morris, commercial director of EMEC, commented, “There is significant wave resource available to the United States in the pacific northwest and the creation of the Pacific Marine Energy Centre will deliver a vital resource in terms of capability for testing grid-connected devices. EMEC is uniquely placed in terms of providing consultancy support to countries wishing to set up marine energy test sites, through our ground-breaking and world-leading operations in the Orkney Islands, and this is an excellent opportunity for Scotland to assist and work alongside our colleagues in North America.”

The centre’s testing facilities will support devices with grid simulation capability, as well as testing berths capable of hosting single or multiple devices in small arrays with a combined output of between one and two megawatts.

Morris continued, “EMEC has become the global seat of learning for the wave and tidal stream energy industry and we will provide step by step guidance aimed at helping the PMEC team, who share our passion, motivation and determination to succeed in the development of vital wave and tidal facilities, achieve success. We already work in partnership with the FORCE wave and tidal test centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, and this progression to support our fellows working in US waters is a key element of our global consultancy offering, to support the creation of world-class test centres for marine energy power generation technology.”

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