Merkley: Waves Can Power the Future

– Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley discussed the development of innovative wave energy technologies and leading-edge research to improve tsunami preparedness with leading researchers from the Northwest National Marine Energy Center, Oregon State University’s Wallace Energy Systems & Renewables Facility, Columbia Power Technologies, and OSU’s O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory.

“Oregon State University is a pioneer in the development of groundbreaking technologies that will harness the ocean’s waves and push our clean energy economy forward,” said Merkley.  “We’re positioning our state to be ahead of the pack in a cutting-edge industry that will create sustainable jobs and provide economic security for Oregon families for years to come.”

The O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory is a pioneering center for research and education in coastal engineering, tsunamis and coastal hazard mitigation and aims to improve the sustainability of coastal areas.  Oregon State University is also part of a collaborative effort to expand wave energy and tidal energy research at the National Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center.  

Oregon State University has collaborated with wave energy company Columbia Power Technologies to develop wave power technologies.  With the help of a $1.92 million appropriation that Senator Merkley helped to secure in the FY 2010 Department of Defense Appropriation Bill, Columbia Power Technologies is now working on their next generation direct-drive generator which will provide diverse, reliable, non-polluting sources of low-cost electrical power for the U.S. Navy.

The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) is a DOE-funded partnership between Oregon State University and the University of Washington.  NNMREC was awarded $6.25 million in competitive DOE funds over five years.  In addition, NNMREC received $2.33 million through the FY2009 Energy and Water Appropriations bill to build the first mobile test berth which will be available to device manufactures for testing wave energy buoys.