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Marine Renewable Energy
Power from ocean waves
From early proof-of-concept testing to ongoing public engagement and education, Oregon Sea Grant is playing a part in efforts to develop renewable energy from the ocean waves - while minimizing the conflicts with other ocean uses.
Starting in 2003, Sea Grant seed money helped fund pioneering scientific and engineering work by OSU researchers Annette Von Jouanne and the late Alan Wallace which determined that the motion of the waves can be harnessed to generate electricity.
Within a few years, renewable energy companies from the US and abroad were banging on Oregon's doors, filing multiple permits with the federal Energy Regulatory Commission for commercial-scale projects off the Oregon coast.
Coastal communities, torn between the desire for clean, sustainable energy and an even more compelling desire to protect their livelihoods and the marine environment, responded by filing their own permit applications in an effort to have some control over where offshore energy farms might be located.
Oregon Sea Grant helps coastal communities understand the pros and cons of marine renewable energy, navigate the regulatory and permitting maze, and serve as their own advocates. In addition, we conduct research demonstrating the human dimensions of energy production, and educate the public about the complex issues involved.
Sea Grant engages with communities
Sea Grant, under the leadership of Extension Marine Fisheries educator Kaety Hildenbrand, and Community Outreach specialist Flaxen Conway:
- Helped organize stakeholder groups up and down the coast, bringing commercial, charter and sport fishing interests, local governments and others into the siting process.
- Conducted research aimed at better understanding the social and environmental ramifications of wave energy.
- Is a partner in the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, a new US Department of Energy-funded project of Oregon State University and Washington State University.
- With NNMREC support, conducted research and produced a report on the human dimensions of wave energy for the Oregon Wave Energy Trust.
- Produces short publications, videos aimed at helping the public understand the technology and issues surrounding marine renewable energy.
- Created and launched a new exhibit at the HMSC Visitor Center focusing on the complex issues involved in wave energy siting and production.
- Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center: Outreach and engagement. Kaety Hildenbrand, Sea Grant Extension, Lincoln County. (Funding: US Department of Energy; additional funding from the Oregon Wave Energy Trust).
- A Primer on Wave Energy Devices
- Wave Energy Acronyms & Abbreviations
- The Human Dimensions of Wave Energy In Oregon (report to Oregon Wave Energy Trust)
- Ocean Space, Ocean Place: The Human Dimensions of Wave Energy. (F. Conway, et al. Oceanography 23(2). 2010.)
- Navigating the Public Process: Engaging Stakeholders in Ocean Energy Development. (Op-ed. K. Hildenbrand. Oceanography 23(2). 2010.)
- Wave Power: The Potential of Oregon's Ocean Energy
- Electrical experts plot ways to use waves' potential (printable .pdf | plain text)