Wave Energy Week will mix marine energy developers with traditional hydropower

ByGregory B. Poindexter

Panelists at OREC 2014 included Simon Geerlofs, Pacific Northwest National Lab; Reenst Lesemann, Columbia Power Technologies; Bill Staby, Resolute Marine; Justin Klure, Northwest Energy Innovations; and John Ferland, Ocean Renewable Power Company. Representatives from each of these organizations will speak at OREC 2015. (Photo/Ocean Wave Energy Trust)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Democrat, has proclaimed “July 13-17, 2015 to be Oregon Wave Week in Oregon and encourages all Oregonians to join in this observance.”

Brown made this proclamation on June 24, just ahead of the 10th Annual Ocean Renewable Energy Conference (OREC) sponsored by Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET). OWET is a nonprofit, public-private partnership that is helping to develop ocean energy.

OREC is co-located with the 2015 HydroVision International Conference at the Portland Convention Center held July 14-17.

“We appreciate Governor Brown’s support for marine renewable energy and its responsible development in the state of Oregon,” said OWET Executive Director Jason Busch.

“We also thank the governor for proclaiming July 13-17, 2015 as ‘Oregon Wave Week.’”

Co-locating with HydroVision International, Busch said, offers the marine renewable energy community a tremendous opportunity to interact with more than 3,000 traditional hydropower folks.

He added, “The Marine Energy Pavilion, a first on the HydroVision International exhibit floor, offers a great networking area for industry members and destination for hydro professionals who want to learn more about marine energy.

As it relates to the conference, Busch went on to say for the past 10 years the OREC conference has attracted national and international developers and advocates for marine renewable energy to Oregon.

One measure of what Busch said results from “perseverance,” with regard to marine renewable energy development; the U.S. Department of Energy selected four developers to test their devices at the U.S. Navy Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) near Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii.

Azura wave energy device.

Of the four developers, three are attending both OREC and HydroVision International 2015:

- StingRay wave energy developer, Corvallis, Ore.-based Columbia Power Technology Inc., is exhibiting in the Marine Energy Pavilion;
- Northwest Energy Innovations, which in June successfully deployed its Azura wave energy device at WETS is exhibiting in OWET’s Networking Lounge; and
- John McCarthy, chief executive officer of Ocean Energy Ltd. (OEI), based in Ireland, is also scheduled to attend.

The StingRAY technology floats on the water surface and captures and converts the energy from each passing wave into electricity.

OEI developed the OE Buoy wave power generation platform, which is designed to extract energy from ocean waves efficiently and also survive the worst of ocean storms, according to the company.

An additional notable, scheduled OREC attendee is Dr. Timothy Finnigan, chief executive officer of BioPower Systems Pty Ltd. based in Victoria, Australia.

BioPower prototype power unit.

BioPower finished constructing its prototype wave power unit, a 26-metre-high steel structure partially submerged beneath the ocean’s surface that sways back and forth. The system activates hydraulic cylinders to spin a generator, with the power transported to the shore via a subsea-cable. The US$21 million project is scheduled for installation off the coast of Port Fairy later this year.

For additional information about OREC, follow this link to HydroEvent.com.

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