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Site off Newport, Oregon Chosen for Wave Energy Test Facility

April 25 2011 | Ocean Ecosystems, Ocean Energy,
by Rick Wilson

A one-square-mile site off the coast near Newport has been selected for a new wave energy test program, the first of its kind in the United States and the closest one this side of Scotland.

The siting decision was announced on April 20 by officials from the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center,  a collaborative research effort of Oregon State University and the University of Washington.

The selection follows two years of discussions with the Oregon coastal community, fishermen, state agencies, wave energy developers and scientists. It is within Oregon territorial waters, near the Hatfield Marine Science Center and close to onshore roads and marine support services.

The site will be about one square mile in size, two miles northwest of Yaquina Head on the central Oregon coast, in water about 150-180 feet deep with a sandy seafloor. It is exposed to unobstructed waves that have traveled thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. The facility is being funded by the state of Oregon and the U.S. Department of Energy.

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