WEC testing began at NETS in summer 2012. The environmental conditions of this site have been characterized, and a significant level of environmental monitoring has been conducted, including baseline studies on benthic habitat, marine mammal observations, electromagnetic fields (EMF), and acoustics.

Permitting Status

While the site is permitted through the Oregon Department of State Lands, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, individual developers will require additional permits. NNMREC can assist with the permitting process, which generally takes about six months.

Device Accommodation

NETS is PMEC’s non-grid-connected test site where WECs can be tested in vigorous wave environment May - October. For grid emulation, converters with average power outputs of up to 100 kW can be connected to the Ocean Sentinel (PMEC’s mobile ocean test buoy), which provides an electrical load and performs data acquisition for WECs under test. Larger converters can also be tested at NETS if no grid emulation is required (i.e. self-contained tests).

Testing Capabilities

WECs that require connection to the Ocean Sentinel can be tested at NETS from May through October. This connection allows for power measurements, including voltage and current; environmental data collection from waves, currents, winds and temperature; and other signals from instrumentation onboard the test WEC, such as strain gauges measuring mooring forces.

If no connection to the Ocean Sentinel is required, converters can be tested at NETS throughout the year in order to study other aspects of their deployment, such as survivability, biofouling, mooring & anchoring systems, and environmental effects.

Location Notes

Located 2.5 nautical miles off the coast of Newport, Oregon (just north of Yaquina Head) in the Pacific Ocean, NETS is an open-ocean test facility with full-scale wave resource. NETS covers approximately 1 square nautical mile, and its depth ranges from 45 to 55 m. The area has a gently sloping sandy bottom. Significant wave heights (SWH) average 1 to 2.5 m during summer months at 6- to 9-second energy periods. During winter months these increase to SWH averaging 2 to 5 m at 8- to 12-second energy periods, with maximum significant wave heights of 7 to 14 m.