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.

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