Wave Power

Wave Power[114] captures the horizontal and vertical movements of tides and waves to generate energy. Wave energy[115] can harness both ocean waves and strong sub-surface currents to generate electricity. One advantage of wave power is that, unlike sunshine or wind, it may have the potential to generate power, 24/7. The United States has committed $200 million in federal funds toward wave energy technology[116] , from 2008 through 2012.

Wave Energy Map

The DOE assessed wave energy resources across the U.S. showing major potential for Wave and Tidal Energy, with some 250 TWh/yr for the West Coast, 160 TWh/yr for the East Coast, and 60 TWh/yr for the Gulf of Mexico. Oregon is working through a complicated process to amend its Territorial Sea Plan in order to accommodate more renewable energy development.

Google Oregon Ocean Map

The Oregon Marine Map is a web-based tool that allows users to draw prospective Marine Protected Areas and receive immediate feedback on the protections and impacts.

With more than 50% of the nation’s population living within 50 miles of coastlines, we have vast potential to provide clean, renewable electricity using marine and hydrokinetic energy.

Besides generating power from waves, off-shore wind is a thing (and not necessary “wave power”.

Principle Power is planning a 30-megawatt offshore wind farm, called the WindFloat Pacific Project, that would consist of five units tethered 16 nautical miles from Coos Bay, bobbing approximately 1,400 feet above the ocean floor.

In May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the upcoming installation of five Siemens six-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines off Oregon’s coast, approximately 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon.

Principle Power is actually designing a wind turbine that floats on the ocean surface and is not utilizing wave energy, beneath the surface. The WindFloat foundation is shaped like a triangle, with the turbine located on one of the three columns that form the structure.

Principle Power’s WindFloat design is a semi-submersible floating platform, that will be assembled on-shore and towed out to sea.

In May 2014, the DOE Wind Program selected three projects to advance to the second phase of the demonstration, which includes follow-on design, fabrication, and deployment in order to achieve commercial operation by 2017.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), a New Jersey company, was prepared to deploy its wave energy device off the coast of Oregon in spring 2014. That company has had a tough time making in happen in Oregon.

After spending millions on the project off the coast of Reedsport, Ocean Power Technologies has pulled the plug on the project and will now focus on another project in Australia. The company’s much-anticipated wave power platform would have placed a flotilla of 100 energy-producing buoys, each the size of a school bus, in the waves off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon.

OPT received Energy Department support to develop its PB150 buoy that captures energy by bobbing up and down as waves pass by. It will build a grid-connected 1.5-megawatt wave power farm off the Oregon coast, the first wave power station permitted in the United States.

The company’s wave energy projects generated national headlines in the run-up to a planned launch in October, 2012. But after it delayed the deployment of its first buoy, the project seemed to be stuck on hold.

Google Oregon Ocean Map

Newport will be home for the first utility-scale, grid-connected wave energy test site in the United States – the Pacific Marine Energy Center. PMEC will test the performance and environmental impacts of wave energy devices, at an ocean site about five miles from shore. Subsea cables will transmit energy from the wave energy devices to the local power grid, and data to scientists and engineers at on-shore facilities.

The nation’s first commercial wave-energy farm[117], designed by Ocean Power Technologies[118], would have been installed off the Oregon coast. The $60 million system was planned to have a capacity of 1.5 megawatts[119] — about half that of a single giant wind turbine – though waves should produce power around the clock.

Surfpower[120] and Renewable Energy Research have expressed an interest in exploring their options in Oregon[121] , according to Oregon Wave Energy Trust[122] .


Ocean Power Technologies[123] was was close to getting a license to build a wave energy plant off the coast of Oregon[124]. The New Jersey-based company signed a settlement agreement that includes over 11 government agencies, and several private companies, to develop a 150 kW wave energy station[125] . The plant would have consisted of 10 PowerBuoys that could generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes annually. A 10-Megawatt OPT power station[126] would occupy approximately 30 acres (0.125 square kilometers) of ocean space. Until the project sank (figuratively).

A wave-power device from another company, Finavera[136] , sank off the Oregon coast two years ago. Literally.

Ocean-power-technologies Wave Energy Generator for Reedsport

Ocean Power Technologies contracted with Oregon Iron Works[127] to build the buoys. Clusters of buoys would cover a five-mile stretch, north to south, less than three miles from shore. The first buoy would have measured 150 feet tall by 40 feet wide, weigh 200 tons and cost $4 million. Nine more buoys were planned to deploy near Reedsport, Ore., at a total cost of $60 million.


Columbia Power Technologies[128] has deployed an intermediate scale prototype near Seattle, controlled remotely from Corvallis. Columbia Power was founded in 2005 by Greenlight Energy Resources, in partnership with Oregon State University. Their design was the first ocean energy device to produce kilowatt scale electrical energy[129] off the Oregon coast. It will generate energy between one and three miles offshore[130].

Grays Harbor Ocean Energy[131] plans an offshore wave energy generation platform in shallow coastal waters 2.8 miles off of the Washington towns of Westport and Ocean Shores in Grays Harbor of Washington state.

Whether or not wave energy facilities should be sited inside the newly proposed marine reserves off the Oregon coast is currently a hotly debated topic[132] . The trick is to tap the benefits of a new industry without spoiling ocean habitats, economic livelihoods and recreational playgrounds[133] . Off shore energy policy[134] is still being worked out. No state agency in the U.S has ever permitted a wave energy project[135].

Other Oregon wave energy players include Aquamarine[137] , a Scottish company with a technology called The Oyster with an office in Newport, a Scandinavian company, Floating Power Plant, Norway’s Wave Energy A/S[138] in Tillamook looking at a jetty-based device, and a possible Texas-based[139] startup called Neptune Wave Power[140].

Floating Power Platform

Floating Power, a Danish company, that spent the last 12 years developing and testing a power-generating platform called “Poseidon”, plans to commercialize and manufacture the technology in Oregon. Under the joint venture agreement, Oregon-based Floating Power will hold the exclusive rights to commercialize Poseidon installations throughout the Americas and at U.S. government installations worldwide. It generates both hydraulic power from waves interacting with floats and electricity from wind using turbines mounted on the platform.


The Oregon Wave Energy Trust recently matched 20 percent of costs for four companies that won federal grants to develop wave energy projects or technology in Oregon. They include M3 Wave Energy Systems of Salem, Shift Power Solutions of Encinitas, Calif., developing a breakwater that can generate electricity from waves, Northwest Energy Innovations, of Portland, with wave energy partnership with New Zealand-based Industrial Research Limited. Principle Power of Seattle is researching a floating wind turbine that converts wave energy into power at a site near Tillamook.
The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center[141] is a partnership between OSU and UW. OSU focuses on wave energy. UW focuses on tidal energy[142]. Both universities collaborate with each other and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory[143].
Pacific Energy Ventures[144] (Portland, Oregon) will build a Protocol Framework for identifying, collecting and comparing environmental data relevant to offshore renewable energy projects Oregon Wave Trust[145] is designed to serve as a connector for all stakeholders involved in wave energy project development. Oregon Wave Energy Trust[146] is a nonprofit public-private partnership funded by the Oregon Innovation Council.

Lucid Pipe

The city of Portland is teaming up with a local startup Lucid Energy, to deploy a new kind of renewable energy system that uses municipal water pipes to generate electricity. Lucid Energy, a cleantech firm, moved to Portland in late 2011. LucidPipe can deploy 3-4 internal turbines with up to four LucidPipe units installed in a standard 40-foot section of pipe.

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