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Archive for 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.”

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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.”

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

Wave energy on tap at June 11 Science Pub Corvallis

Posted by: | June 1, 2012 Comments Off on Wave energy on tap at June 11 Science Pub Corvallis |

Sea Grant wave energy exhibit at HMSC Visitor CenterMarine renewable energy – from waves and from the wind – is the topic of the June edition of Science Pub Corvallis.

Held on the second Monday of the month, 6 to 8 p.m. in the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis, Science Pub is sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Downtown Corvallis Association and OSU’s Terra magazine. Admission is free; food and drink are available to purchase.

For this month’s edition, Belinda Batten of  the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center will discuss ongoing research into wave energy under way in Oregon and elsewhere. “We’ve got the technical side, the environmental side and the outreach to communities through Oregon Sea Grant. You don’t have that everywhere,” she says. Engineered systems, she adds, will need to survive extreme ocean conditions and minimize impact on the environment and traditional ocean uses.

NNMREC is a collaborative effort of Oregon State University and the University of Washington. Oregon Sea Grant is involved in the Center’s work through its ongoing public outreach and engagement efforts on the Oregon Coast.

Learn more about Sea Grant’s work in marine renewable energy.

under: engineering, environment, events, lectures, marine spatial planning, technology, wave energy

Testing berth to aid wave energy research, development

Posted by: | May 1, 2012 Comments Off on Testing berth to aid wave energy research, development |

Ocean Sentinel platformThis summer, a boxy yellow platform called the Ocean Sentinel will anchor in heavy swells off the Oregon coast and help open a new stage in the effort to turn wave energy into usable electricity.

Built at a cost of $1.5 million, the rugged craft will loosen a bottleneck that has dogged the startup wave-energy industry: Getting equipment out of the lab and tested in the brutal conditions of the open ocean.

Europe has a similar device, but the Oregon berth is the first mobile platform to be deployed in U.S. waters and made available for use by small firms that couldn’t afford to do testing in any other way.

“This testing capability is a first for wave energy,” said Annette von Jouanne, a professor of electrical engineering at Oregon State University (OSU) who came up with the idea.

The platform is a project of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Project, a joint effort between OSU, Washington State University and the US Department of Energy. It is one of three such centers established around the US to aid in research and development in the fledgling wave/tidal energy field. It is expected to be fully deployed late this year.

Oregon Sea Grant, which helped fund von Jouanne’s early proof-of-concept research, continues to work with researchers, developers and coastal communities to work through questions and issues surrounding marine renewable energy, from siting to possible conflicts with commercial fishing.

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under: engineering, marine spatial planning, research, technology, wave energy

Site off Newport chosen for wave-energy test facility

Posted by: | April 21, 2011 Comments Off on Site off Newport chosen for wave-energy test facility |
Wave site

Wave energy test site location

NEWPORT – A one-square-mile site off the coast near Newport has been selected for a new wave energy test program, the first of its kind in the United States and the closest one this side of Scotland.

The siting decision was announced Wednesday by officials from the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center,  a collaborative research effort of Oregon State University and the University of Washington.

The selection follows two years of discussions with the Oregon coastal community, fishermen, state agencies, wave energy developers and scientists. It is within Oregon territorial waters, near the Hatfield Marine Science Center and close to onshore roads and marine support services.

Public comments on the proposal are still being sought, officials said.

The site will be about one square mile in size, two miles northwest of Yaquina Head on the central Oregon coast, in water about 150-180 feet deep with a sandy seafloor. It is exposed to unobstructed waves that have traveled thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. The facility is being funded by the state of Oregon and the U.S. Department of Energy.

“If all of our plans and permits are approved, we hope to have the test facility available for wave energy developers to use by this fall,” said Annette von Jouanne, an OSU professor of electrical engineering and leader with the university’s wave energy research programs.

The site will not only allow testing of new wave energy technologies, but will also be used to help study any potential environmental impacts on sediments, invertebrates and fish. In order to simplify and expedite ocean testing, the facility will not initially be connected to the land-based electrical grid.

Testing will be done using a chartered vessel or stand-alone buoy along with the wave energy devices, and most of the technology being tested will produce its energy through the up-and-down motion of the waves. Some devices may be very large, up to 100 feet tall and with a diameter of up to 50 feet, but mostly below the water line.

“The site will not necessarily be off limits to other ocean users,” said Oregon Sea Grant’s Kaety Hildenbrand, who leads Sea Grant’s wave energy public engagement efforts on the central coast.  “As part of our continuing outreach to the coastal community, we plan to have a series of dialogues with safety experts and ocean users to discuss allowable uses.”

Read more from OSU News & Research Communications  …

under: Extension, fishermen, marine science, marine spatial planning, outreach and engagement, research, technology, wave energy

Wave energy impractical? OSU researcher says “not at all.”

Posted by: | April 8, 2011 Comments Off on Wave energy impractical? OSU researcher says “not at all.” |

Check out this National Science Foundation video of Oregon State University researcher Annette Von Jouanne explaining how the power of the ocean waves could be harnessed to provide clean electricity.

Wave energy is a hot topic on the Oregon coast, where several companies have proposed pilot projects to determine whether the technology is practical, as well as possible.  Coastal communities, meanwhile, want some say in where and how wave energy “farms” are located, fearing disruption of fishing, whale migration and other ocean uses. Oregon Sea Grant’s coastal Extension faculty are helping to bridge those divergent views through community meetings and education programs.

Sea Grant provided early grant support for Von Jouanne and her lab as they investigated the engineering solutions for harnessing the power of the waves. Read more here.

More on wave energy from the NSF’s Science Nation.

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

Oregon’s wave expertise attracts energy startup

Posted by: | March 10, 2011 Comments Off on Oregon’s wave expertise attracts energy startup |

A Texas company with a novel approach to generating electricity from ocean waves is testing its devices at OSU’s Hinsdale Wave Research Lab, with an eye toward full-scale ocean testing in the future.

Texas-based Neptune Wave Energy was drawn to Oregon by the expertise and scientific resources of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, a joint effort of OSU and Washington State University.

Oregon Sea Grant, which helped fund early proof-of-concept research on wave-generated energy and is currently looking at the human dimensions of wave energy, is among the local partners in the Center, which is working on establishing an off-shore testing site near Newport that could be used by Neptune and other companies.

Read the whole story from Sustainable Business Oregon.

Learn more about Oregon Sea Grant’s efforts in wave energy.

Video report from KGW TV:

under: marine spatial planning, news, Oregon Sea Grant, technology, videos, wave energy

New publications available from Oregon Sea Grant

Posted by: | February 16, 2011 Comments Off on New publications available from Oregon Sea Grant |

The following publications are available from http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/newpubs.html

A Primer on Wave Energy Devices

GardenSmart Oregon: a guide to non-invasive plants [2010 rev.]

The Framework of a Coastal Hazards Model–A Tool for Predicting the Impact of Severe Storms

under: beach safety, climate, coastal hazards, invasive species, marine science, publications, technology, wave energy

OSG scholar writes about wave energy, law

Posted by: | March 3, 2010 Comments Off on OSG scholar writes about wave energy, law |

Former Oregon Sea Grant scholar Holly V. Campbell has an article exploring the legal implications of wave energy development in the winter 2010 issue of the Sea Grant Law & Policy Journal, published by the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi.

Campbell’s article, “A Rising Tide: Wave Energy in the United States and Scotland,” compares and contrasts the two countries’ legal policy and permitting environments for the development of  wave energy, an emerging renewable energy technology that uses the power of ocean waves and to generate electricity.

The journal, and Campbell’s article, are available online at  http://nsglc.olemiss.edu/SGLPJ/SGLPJ.htm

Campbell, a PhD candidate in environmental science at Oregon State University’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, holds law degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Utah.

In 2007, she was among Oregon Sea Grant’s Legislative Fellows, graduate students assigned to work with coastal lawmakers and learn about marine policy-making. She has also worked with Sea Grant Extension sociologist Flaxen D. Conway on a grant-funded project, “The Human Dimensions of Wave Energy,” where her assignment was to examine the legal and institutional framework surrounding wave energy development. And she has assisted Michael Harte, head of OSU’s Marine Resource Management program and Sea Grant’s climate change specialist, on several projects.

Read more about the Sea Grant Scholars program for graduate and undergraduate students.

under: fellowships, marine spatial planning, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, people, publications, Sea Grant Scholars, social science, technology, wave energy

NOAA launches marine planning site

Posted by: | December 7, 2009 Comments Off on NOAA launches marine planning site |

A new Web site from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gives visitors tools to learn about marine spatial planning – the ocean equivalent of land-use planning.

The site, at www.msp.noaa.gov, not only lays out basic concepts, but helps visitors  stay on top of current  news and information about marine spatial planning initiatives in the U.S., at both the federal and state levels.

The site also provides access to the tools and data used by organizations involved in marine spatial planning, including mapping and modeling tools, downloadable software and direct access to relevant government databases.

The site’s “In Practice” section profiles a number of state and regional projects involving marine spatial planning, including current Oregon efforts to plan for offshore wave energy projects.

under: marine reserves, marine spatial planning, news, NOAA, regional projects, research, science education, wave energy

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