Welcome to PMEC!
Welcome to the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC). PMEC was established in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate the development of marine renewable energy technologies via research, education, and outreach. University partners include Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Washington (UW), and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).
Toward the goal of accelerating responsible development of renewable energy, PMEC faculty and students investigate technical, environmental, and social dimensions of ocean energy technologies, performing research that fills knowledge gaps. Through this research, students are becoming industry pioneers, educating themselves in these promising new fields. PMEC itself serves as a neutral voice of science and engineering to inform the public and decision-makers about the effects and capabilities of marine energy technologies.
The Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC) is comprised of testing facilities located around the Pacific Northwest region. PMEC facilities enable testing for a broad range of technologies being produced by the marine energy industry. On the OSU campus, PMEC includes scaled laboratory testing at the Wallace Energy Systems and Renewables Facility and the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory. On the UW campus, testing is supported at the Harris Hydraulics Laboratory’s current flume and small-scale wave flume. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Tanana River Test Site (TRTS) accommodates testing river energy converters (RECs) in natural river conditions subject to turbulence, changing river levels, variable bed topography and woody debris. The TRTS includes a pontoon barge for testing, deploying and retrieving RECs as well as a debris diversion system for protecting surface mounted RECs from woody debris.
For intermediate-scale wave energy converters (WECs), PMEC supports open-water testing in Puget Sound and Lake Washington. For a full-scale wave energy resource, the North Energy Test Site (NETS) can accommodate WECs that produce peak power up to 100kW connected to the Ocean Sentinel and more powerful WECs if stand-alone operation is acceptable. The grid-connected site currently under development is referred to as the South Energy Test Site (SETS). SETS will serve as the U.S. test facility for utility-scale WECs and WEC arrays. Over time, additional test facilities may be added to expand the PMEC portfolio.