The ocean, despite possessing almost an infinite level of energy, is full of challenges in installing power generation equipment on the seabed or offshore due to unpredictable sea conditions and waves that would lead to corrosions. The US has thus unfolded the first wave energy test system, which is scheduled to operate starting from 2024.
Ocean power, compared to the more common intermittent energy such as solar and wind power, has access to available energy each day, including tidal and wave energy. However, there are many challenges to overcome, such as the ever-changing sea conditions.
The US Department of Energy has unfolded the PacWave program with the Government of Oregon and the Oregon State University by currently planning for two test sites of PacWave North and PacWave South at the offshore area of Newport, Oregon. The program is also installing four independent equipment in the sea at a depth of 65-78m that can accommodate 20 wave energy converters.
Each individual equipment sits at 5MW, and comes with exclusive transmission cables, which yielded a maximum power of 20MW from the test site. Power cable power Nexans announced to be providing four medium voltage AC cables, each measuring at 20km, that transmit power from the equipment to onshore.
The PacWave program is also a wave energy test site with hundreds of millions of investment by the US Department of Energy. As previously estimated by the US, wave energy can generate 2.64TWh of power each year, which is equivalent to 64% of the country’s power generation. Ocean Power Center of the Oregon State University commented that the US Department of Energy has invested in 8 businesses, and will initiate experiments at the PacWave test site starting from 2024.
Ocean energy is currently at the early development phase, but it has attained progress thus far. SAE Renewables recently announced its MeyGen tidal power system in Scotland, which is the first tidal energy system in the world at 50GWh.
(Cover photo source: pixabay)