Welcome to NNMREC!

Welcome to the website of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC). Established in 2008, NNMREC is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate the development of marine renewable energy technologies – primarily wave and tidal – 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, NNMREC 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. NNMREC itself serves as a neutral voice of science and engineering to inform the public and decision-makers about the effects and capabilities of wave and tidal energy technologies.

Map of NNMREC locations

NNMREC's Suite of Test Facilities: PMEC

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) accomodates 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 devices, NNMREC 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 devices up to 100kW (larger devices if no grid emulation or connection is required) connected to the Ocean Sentinel. The grid-connected site currently under development is referred to as the South Energy Test Site (SETS). SETS will serve as the utility-scale wave energy test facility for the United States and is expected to be available for device testing in 2017. Over time, additional wave and tidal test facilities will be added to the PMEC portfolio to create a global hub for marine renewable energy development.