September 10, 2010

Wyden, Merkley Announce $4 million for Innovation in Wave Energy Technology

Washington, D.C. Continuing efforts to accelerate development of wave energy technology in Oregon, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have announced that Oregon will receive more than $4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for wave energy technology. The funding will speed up projects to design and implement technologies that generate clean, renewable electricity from Oregon’s rivers and coast.

“The ocean off Oregon’s coast offers enormous potential for renewable energy production and this funding will help create the technologies needed to harness that power,” Wyden said. “Oregon is already known as a leader in the development of wave energy and the funding announced today will only help to create more jobs in that sector and solidify that great reputation.”


“When you stand on the cliffs and beaches of Oregon’s coast, you can see and feel the power and energy present in the ocean,” Merkley said. “Our state is leading the way in harnessing that energy by manufacturing wave energy buoys and collaborating with the fishing community to ensure wave energy production is compatible with a healthy fishing industry.  The funding announced today will support Oregon’s growing clean energy industry, create jobs, and help move innovative research forward.”

The following Oregon projects were including for funding by the U.S. Department of Energy:

1)      Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. - $2,409,000

This funding will deploy a 150 kilowatt, commercial-scale, PowerBuoy System built in Oregon to collect two years of wave energy operating data. This project, off the coast at Reedsport, will be the first demonstration of commercial wave energy technology in the United States.

2)      M3 Wave Energy Systems, LLC - $240,000

This funding studies the commercial viability of an innovative turbine design to convert ocean wave energy into electricity.

3)      Northwest Energy Innovations – Oregon State University -- $1,818,500

This funding will develop and test a new wave energy technology utilizing the research facilities at the Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University. The project will test the technology in controlled lab and open sea settings.