U.S. could see wave energy market open up with new platform

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 @ 11:05 AM
posted by rene5432

The U.S. has started to take advantage of its wind and solar resources over the past few years, but the power available along the country's coastline remains largely untapped.

Forbes reports that some hope this could start to change with the introduction of the new testing platform, the Ocean Sentinel, in Oregon.

The Ocean Sentinel is a $1.5 million raft, in essence, that will anchor to the ocean floor off the coast of Newport, Oregon. The platform will allow green energy companies to test their technology or demonstrate it to potential investors, without needing to go to the European Marine Energy Centre off the coast of Scotland.

"This testing capability is a first for wave energy," professor Annette von Jouanne from Oregon State University told Forbes. "It helps developers to test, demonstrate and advance their devices. It helps them share information about their devices with investors, accelerate their time to market, hasten wave installations, and answer questions of environmental impact."

While wave energy is still a young field for renewable electricity, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Western Australia is building the first such plant in the southern hemisphere and one French company has already licensed their design for another project elsewhere in the Pacific.

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