Oregon will soon be home to the first large-scale wave research site in the United States. A $4 million grant from the Department of Energy is helping fund the facility.
The project will be connected to the electrical grid on-shore so that researchers can test how much power the buoys convert into electricity. Belinda Batten is with Oregon State University and will direct the facility. She says the project will help developers make wave energy more commercially available with large-scale technology.
Batten: “In order to test those devices, we have to connect to the grid. And right now there’s no way to do that in the U.S.”
Researchers are looking at two sites for the facility: Newport or Reedsport, Oregon. Batten estimates the facility will cost $25 million. Batten says wave energy has the potential to produce 10 percent of the world’s energy.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio