EMEC, the European Marine Energy Centre, is to assist with the creation of a new Pacific Marine Energy Centre (PMEC), a grid-connected marine energy test centre to be located off the Pacific Northwest Coast of the U.S.
EMEC is a world-leading marine and tidal energy development facility and it will be collaborating with Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) and Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre (NNMREC) in order to develop the Pacific test centre.
EMEC will be providing advice and support with regard to the design, set up and operation of the facility which is will harness wave energy resources along the west coast. Thus far the lack of such a test centre has created a barrier to the development of marine energy technology in the U.S. but the new centre will remedy this by providing the region’s first standardized test facilities in real-world conditions.
EMEC is in a good position to assist with PMEC because of their experience in the development of grid-connected devices at their base in Orkney, Scotland. PMEC will demonstrate the viability of wave energy by offering a fully functional ocean test centre for both prototype and commercial-scale devices.
The facility will provide four test berths, each connected to the regional grid. Each berth will be able to provide capacity of up to 1 MW. The centre will be able to support devices with grid simulation capability and each berth will be capable of hosting single or multiple devices in small arrays with a combined output of 1-2 MW.
EMEC experts will work alongside personnel from Ecology and Environment Inc (E&E) who have extensive experience with siting, environmental analyses and permissions for offshore energy development projects around the world.
Their experience encompasses such technological devices as wind farms, wave energy converters, LNG terminals, FPSO’s and subsea pipelines and electrical transmission cables as well as the construction of deepwater ports.
EMEC will also work alongside Orkney consultancy Aquatera which has worked with OWET previously on a framework considering the cumulative effects of wave energy in addition to other developments in Oregon’s ocean waters.