Oregon State University has chosen an ocean site several miles off Newport to base a grid-connected test device for prospective wave energy devices.
OSU officials said Newport was chosen over a site off Reedsport due to closeness to major ocean science facilities, easy route from the at-sea site back to the beach and convenient connection to the statewide electrical grid. And Newport’s local commercial fishing industry supported it.
OSU officials say the Newport area will pick up a number of family wage jobs by being selected. The wave energy test project is also expected to acquire additional grants and funding sources over the next few years.
The test and grid-connected site will be a critical component in determining whether certain wave energy devices live up to the performance claims of their manufacturers. Such test results are expected to weigh heavily in future discussions that will lead to certifying which specific wave energy technologies perform at a level deemed worthwhile to occupy precious space off designated areas of the Oregon Coast.
OSU officials said by locating the test site off Newport, already an emerging world class oceans science center, it will help Oregon State University remain in the forefront in wave energy research. OSU’s non-grid connected testing device, the Sentinel, will also continue it’s testing operations off Yaquina Head.