Northwest Energy Innovations deploys first wave energy converter at National Marine Renewable Energy Center, off Oregon coast.
After a multi-day installation operation, Northwest Energy Innovations (NWEI), a Portland-based company, has successfully installed a wave energy device off the coast of Newport, Oregon. The device, known as Wave Energy Technology-New Zealand (WET-NZ), is now deployed at the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center’s (NNMREC) open ocean test facility.
The device deployed off the Oregon coast is a second generation, half-scale iteration of the WET-NZ technology. Power generated by the device is transmitted through an underwater cable to the test center’s instrumentation buoy (the Ocean Sentinel), which dissipates the electricity and records power performance data.
An innovative, multi-mode wave energy converter, the WET-NZ maximizes energy capture by harnessing power from the heave, pitch and surge motions of passing waves. The technology is the product of a research consortium between Industrial Research Limited, a Crown Research Institute, and Power Projects Limited, a Wellington-based private company. NWEI began collaborating with the consortium in 2010 to further the WET-NZ design and introduce it to the U.S. market.
“This is a huge milestone for the WET-NZ technology, for Oregon, and for the wave energy industry as a whole,” said NWEI Program Manager Justin Klure. “We are excited to have the opportunity to lead the deployment of the WET-NZ device off Oregon’s coast with the support of NNMREC, our funding partners and a host of marine professionals,” Klure added.