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FERC has permitted OSU to develop the Wave Energy Testing Facility

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the development of a wave energy testing facility by Oregon State University through a license that it issued. This move has ended a bureaucratic challenge that the institute has been battling for close to a decade now.

PacWave South is the first large-scale site linked to the grid in the United States that has acquired a FERC license for such a project. Additionally, the program will be the first marine renewable energy research facility in state waters off the Pacific Coast. The facility, which is approximately seven miles from the southwest of Newport, Oregon, will be an opportunity for wave energy engineers to test a variety of technologies to generate electricity from energy waves and to transfer it to the local electrical grid.

The head of OSU, President F. King Alexander stated that this is a milestone for Oregon state that will allow it to present wave energy development to the country and put Oregon State University on the clean energy map. He added that they are happy to dive into the PacWave South project.

The license has activated the dormant minds and garnered local, state, federal and community support for the project since it would be benefiting all these stakeholders in the quest to discard convoluted electricity generation technology for affordable clean energy systems. FERC has demanded the involved entities submit the project’s environmental and technical plans before they can authorize the construction activities. The documents are in their final procession, with the OSU project engineers anticipating obtaining approval later on this year. Schedules indicate that construction might start later this year before the facility is declared operational in the next two years.

The chief scientist for the PacWave project, Burke Hales, stated that they understand there is more to be done to actualize the project. He explained that the completion of the project would reveal another dimension of the renewable energy industry that people have always neglected. The license becomes the first of a kind that the United States has prepared. Experts confirmed that wave energy could generate clean and affordable energy to resolve the growing energy demand. Statistics indicate that the marine energy market will clock $700 billion in the next three decades, with a tenth of the energy demands being met by ocean energy.

Oregon State started exploring this technology to ensure that they can offer an alternative energy source if the industry decided to go the clean energy pathway. This state has been expecting the approval of the project with environmental reviews to accelerate the exploit. The project manager, Justin Klure, explained that the project’s success would open the state for future partnerships seeking to develop similar facilities in other regions.