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Archive for wave energy

Oregon Sea Grant director provides update on budget challenge

Posted by: | May 31, 2017 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant director provides update on budget challenge |

An open letter from Shelby Walker, director of Oregon Sea Grant, addresses the White House’s proposed elimination of Sea Grant and what it might mean for Oregonians and people in 30 other coastal and Great Lakes states around the country. Below is an excerpt from the one-page letter; you can read the full version at the link provided below.

“Oregon Sea Grant has been a key partner with Oregonians in working towards solutions for complex coastal and ocean issues, including fisheries, hazards, and energy, for over 45 years through research, extension, education, and communication. Nationwide, the Sea Grant program works in 31 states, including Oregon, and two territories to create or sustain more than 20,000 jobs and 2,900 businesses annually. In 2015, the national program’s $67.3 million budget generated an economic impact of $575 million, which was an 854 percent return on investment.”

Here is a PDF of the entire letter: DirectorLetter

under: economics, environment, Extension, fisheries, jobs, marine education, National Sea Grant Program, news, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, people, public communication, wave energy
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Students debate wave energy at coastal conference

Posted by: | October 27, 2014 Comments Off on Students debate wave energy at coastal conference |

FLORENCE – Oregon State University Fisheries and Wildlife students exchanged arguments about whether wave energy should be supported in Oregon at last weekend’s State of the Coast conference – and  every statement had to to be backed by a scientific source.

“We are trying to emphasize critical thinking skills,” said professor Scott Heppell,  who taught the debate class. “This is not about memorizing facts, but to learn how to objectively evaluate the evidence available for any given natural resource issue and come to a rational conclusion.”

Fisheries and Wildlife students debate wave energy in Oregon at the State of the Coast Conference.

The eight students were randomly assigned to one side of the issue in class regardless of their personal opinion, and tasked with finding ways to support their arguments. The two teams of four sat at adjacent conference tables on the Florence Events Center theatre stage. Heppell started the session off with an overview of the issue to the audience of about 60 conference attendees.

The debate was part of a new conference format intended to reach a broader audience. Heppell’s wife and fellow professor, Selina, organized the student participation at the conference.

Team Yes hit the ground running with data suggesting that wave energy would significantly reduce Oregon’s reliance on coal and natural gas. Jordan Ellison, one of the undergraduate students on the team, reinforced the science with an economic incentive.

“Wave energy is expected to produce thousands of engineering jobs, as well as business for the coastal communities,” she said.

Following a strong opening by their opponents, Team No retaliated with dollars and cents. Estimates vary, but the cost of one facility would be upwards of $300 million, they said.

Team Yes also made a case for establishing marine reserves  around the devices and asserted that the structure would be beneficial to marine organisms. Team No shot back with concerns about disrupted migration patterns, and an overall lack of knowledge as to how these impacts would actually play out.

“We think the ecological and economic costs of these structures outweighs the benefit,” said Michelle Huppert, a member of Team No, in her closing argument. “Really what we need is more research on the marine environment before we make these costly decisions.”

While there was no clear winner in the debate, Huppert’s view was recently corroborated by Ocean Power Technology’s decision to withdraw its support for wave energy in Oregon, citing the exorbitant cost.

OSU scientists deploy wave energy test device

OSU scientists deploy wave energy test device

Research on the environmental and economic impacts are still ongoing at OSU, however, and organizers hoped the debate would help both students and community members understand the issue as renewable resources continue to gain popularity.

“Most of these questions aren’t science question; they are societal questions,” Heppell said following the debate. “Science can answer the question: ‘if we want to have wave energy, what are the expected outcomes?’”

Both teams said the exercise taught them to look at problems objectively. The future of wave energy on the Oregon coast is uncertain, but critical thinking skills will benefit these students as they tackle other marine issues throughout their careers.

 

under: conferences, Oregon Sea Grant, wave energy

Teachers invited to free wave energy workshop

Posted by: | November 5, 2013 Comments Off on Teachers invited to free wave energy workshop |

Youngsters explore wave energy lab at HMSC

NEWPORT – A free workshop at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will familiarize Oregon coastal teachers with  current research and developments in wave energy, and how they can use the topic to create lessons where students can learn and apply Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills.

The workshop takes place from 9 am to noon Saturday, Nov. 16 and is open to second- through 12th-grade teachers up and down the Oregon coast. Sponsors are the Oregon Coast Regional STEM center, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

Participants will learn about latest developments in the field of wave energy,   create and test model wave energy devices, and receive a wave energy curriculum and supplies to use in the classroom. They will also learn how they can involve their students in the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge in March 2014.

For more information, and to download a .pdf flyer and registration form, visit the HMSC Visitor Center’s teacher resources page.

under: courses, classes and workshops, engineering, HMSC Visitor Center, k-12 teachers, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, science education, technology, wave energy

New fact sheet describes different types of wave-energy devices

Posted by: | September 27, 2013 Comments Off on New fact sheet describes different types of wave-energy devices |

Wave-Energy-Devices-coverToday about 87 percent of the world’s energy consumption relies on nonrenewable energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal. The burning of these fossil fuels releases pollutants into the atmosphere and can result in environmental damage. An abundant and promising source of renewable energy exists in the forms of wave, tidal, marine current, ocean thermal energy conversion, and salinity.

This two-page fact sheet, A Primer on Wave Energy: Wave-Energy Devices, describes nine different types of wave-energy devices currently under development or nearing completion.

You can download the publication for free here.

under: engineering, environment, publications, research, science education, sustainability, technology, wave energy
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Sea Grant seeks renewable energy outreach coordinator, part-time bioscience tech

Posted by: | June 19, 2013 Comments Off on Sea Grant seeks renewable energy outreach coordinator, part-time bioscience tech |

NEWPORT  – Oregon Sea Grant is advertising to fill two Newport-based positions: A full-time marine renewable energy outreach and engagement associate, and a part-time bioscience research technician in our aquatic animal health program.

The marine renewable energy position is grant-funded for one year, with a possible extension. It’s intended to fund a community educator to develop and coordinate educational programs related to the field of marine renewable energy, and more specifically, to the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

Full details and online application are available at OSU Jobs
; the position closes July 6, 2013.

The second positition, a BioScience Research Technician 12, is for approximately 18-19 hours per week, and based at Sea Grant’s Aquatic Animal Health Program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The position  assists our program lead/Extension veterionarian and our senior aquarist with animal husbandry, facility operration, and ongoinbg research related to the health management of aquatic animals in captivity, and  the use of aquatic animals in public engagement and education. Full details and online application are available at OSU Jobs. This position closes June 25, 2013.

under: free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, marine animals, ocean literacy, position announcements, wave energy

State bill would require wave energy companies to recover their own gear

Posted by: | May 1, 2013 Comments Off on State bill would require wave energy companies to recover their own gear |

NNMREC Newport test site and buoysSALEM – The Oregon Senate voted Monday to require that companies experimenting with wave energy in Oregon’s territorial waters show they have enough money to recover their equipment when they’re done with it.

The bill’s sponsors say they don’t want the state to be stuck for the cost of removing such gear if it breaks loose, sinks or outlasts its useful life.

The Department of Energy-funded Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), based at Oregon State University, is operating a testing facility for commercial wave energy devices off the coast of Newport, an area also slated to be home to the nation’s first utility-scale, grid-connected wave energy test site, the Pacific Marine Energy Center.

under: marine debris, regional projects, technology, wave energy

Kaety Hildenbrand on working with ocean stakeholders

Posted by: | January 4, 2013 Comments Off on Kaety Hildenbrand on working with ocean stakeholders |

Kaety Hildenbrand explores the inside of a wave energy deviceKaety Hildenbrand, our Sea Grant Extension marine fisheries specialist on the central Oregon coast, has a great guest article on the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. Among other things, she observes:

“… I can name fishermen in each port that I have worked with on wave energy issues. But, that isn’t what’s important, not really. What’s important is that I can tell you their wife’s name, how many kids they have, the name of their dog, I can describe the inside of their vessels, tell you what kind of truck they drive, and what kind of drink they order at Starbucks. They could do the same for me. I didn’t need to know any of this, I wasn’t asked to find it out, and I didn’t do it to gain something. It’s part of building a true relationship with someone, its part of doing what’s right, its part of what happens when you focus on building trust and not getting buy-in.”

Read the whole article.

For more about Oregon Sea Grant’s work in marine renewable energy and stakeholder engagement, see:

under: Extension, fisheries, fishermen, Oregon Sea Grant, wave energy

Newport, Reedsport chosen as finalists for wave-energy test facility

Posted by: | September 24, 2012 Comments Off on Newport, Reedsport chosen as finalists for wave-energy test facility |

New wave energy test platform and WetNZ testing deviceCORVALLIS, Ore. – The communities of Newport and Reedsport, Ore., have been chosen as the two finalists for the possible location of the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC), a planned $25 million, “grid-connected” wave energy testing facility in the Pacific Northwest.

Officials at the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or NNMREC, at Oregon State University said these locations offer the best advantages in cost, distance to shore and other factors.

Committees will now be formed in Newport and Reedsport to conduct more detailed local site analysis before a final decision is made.

After funding is complete and the site is established, PMEC, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and other organizations, will feature four test berths connected to a regional electrical grid, able to test individual, utility-scale or small arrays of wave energy devices. Completion of this facility is not expected for several years after funding is finalized. But when done, officials said it will provide jobs and economic growth while attracting researchers from all over the world who will use it to test their wave energy technologies.

“We’ve carefully weighed a number of factors and decided that Newport and Reedsport have the most advantages for this project,” said Belinda Batten, a professor at OSU and director of NNMREC.

Learn more:

under: wave energy

Wave energy test platform deployed off Oregon coast

Posted by: | August 21, 2012 Comments Off on Wave energy test platform deployed off Oregon coast |

Ocean Sentinel DeploymentOne of the first public wave energy testing systems in the United States began operation this week off the Oregon coast near Newport, and will allow private industry or academic researchers to test new technology that may help advance this promising form of sustainable energy.

Ocean Sentinel is a $1.5 million device developed by the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or NNMREC, at Oregon State University. The device was towed to the Center’s designated testing site 2 miles offshore from Yaquina Head on Sunday by OSU’s R/V Pacific Storm, and attached to a battery of mooring anchors that will keep it in place.

It’s a major step forward for the future of wave energy, and should do its first testing within days, when the “WetNZ” device developed by private industry joins it at the testing site.

The creation of this mobile wave energy test facility has been needed for years, experts say, and it will be used by many companies and academic researchers in the quest to develop wave energy technology, measure and understand the wave resource, and study the energy output and other important issues.

“The Ocean Sentinel will provide a standardized, accurate system to compare various wave energy technologies, including systems that may be better for one type of wave situation or another,” said Sean Moran, ocean test facilities manager with NNMREC.

“We have to find out more about which technologies work best, in what conditions, and what environmental impacts there may be,” Moran said. “We’re not assuming anything. We’re first trying to answer the question, ‘Is this a good idea or not?’ And if some technology doesn’t work as well, we want to find that out quickly, and cheaply, and the Ocean Sentinel will help us do that.”

Learn more:

under: engineering, environment, marine policy, marine science, marine spatial planning, Oregon Sea Grant, research, technology, wave energy

Forums to discuss wave energy sites

Posted by: | August 16, 2012 Comments Off on Forums to discuss wave energy sites |
OSU Ocean Sentinel testing berth with WetNZ wave energy buoy in background

OSU Ocean Sentinel (right) and WetNZ buoy (background) sit in Port of Toledo Boatyard awaiting deployment at sea. (Photo by Pat Kight, Oregon Sea Grant)

Possible locations for a new “grid-connected” wave energy testing facility off the Oregon coast will be the topic of discussion at community forums next week in Newport, Reedsport and Coos Bay.

Dubbed the Pacific Energy Center, the facility would connect offshore energy-generating devices to the electric grid in what’s expected to be the final step of testing whether it’s feasible and cost-effective to generate power from ocean waves.

The free public forums, sponsored by the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) at Oregon State University, will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm at

  • The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport (Aug. 20)
  • Pacific Auditorium in Reedsport (Aug. 22)
  • Coos Bay Public Library, Coos Bay (Aug. 23).

Funded in part by the US Department of Energy, NNMREC is taking the lead in testing the scientific, technical and practical aspects of generating electricity via the movement of the ocean’s waves. A partner program at Washington State University is doing the same with tidal energy devices.

Within a week, the OSU-developed Ocean Sentinel testing platform is expected to be deployed to a designated testing zone two miles off Yaquina Head, on the central Oregon coast – and with it, its first test subject, a wave-energy generation buoy dubbed “WetNZ.”

The Ocean Sentinel is equipped to test multiple generating devices at once and transmit the data back to NNMREC labs for analysis. It is not, however, set up to feed generated energy into the power grid. For that, underwater cable is required.

That would be the job of Pacific Marine Energy Center, still several years in the future and awaiting final approval of a $4 million DoE grant for detailed study and design work. Meanwhile,  the process of finding a suitable site is under way. Locales under consideration are off Newport, Reedsport, Coos Bay, and Camp Rilea near Warrenton, all of which have characteristics that could make them suitable for the project.

“We’ve already been talking with community leaders and other officials for some time about this project, and now we want to broaden the discussion, hear more viewpoints,” said Kaety Hildenbrand, Oregon Sea Grant’s marine fisheries Extension specialist and one of the organizers of the community meetings.

“The purpose of these forums is to help people understand what we’re trying to do, and listen to their interests, questions and concerns,” said Hildenbrand, who has worked with coastal communities on energy siting issues for several years. Much of her work focuses on the effects such large-scale uses of ocean space can have on local communities, economies and people, many of whom earn a living through fishing and other more conventional uses. “One part of our goal is simple. We want to find a good fit, a situation where most residents want this facility and feel positive about it.”

Learn more:

 

under: engineering, events, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, technology, wave energy

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