OSU Preparing To Solicit Bids For Nation’s First Full-Scale, Utility Grid-Connected Wave Energy Test Site Off Oregon Coast

In preparation for a solicitation of bids for five 12-mile long subsea cables to support a wave energy testing facility, Oregon State University will host an information session for companies interested in the project.

Oregon State is planning to release a solicitation in the fall for the manufacture, delivery and installation of five subsea power and data cables to support PacWave South, which will be located off the Oregon Coast and will be the first pre-permitted, full-scale, utility grid-connected wave energy test site in the United States.

The wave energy test facility, to be located about seven miles offshore southwest of Newport, Oregon, is designed to allow commercial wave energy developers the opportunity to test different technologies for harnessing the untapped energy of ocean waves.

Wave energy has the potential to provide clean, reliable electricity to meet the world’s rising energy demands, experts say. Globally, the marine energy market is projected to reach nearly $700 billion by the year 2050, and the World Energy Council estimates that 10% of the worldwide electricity demand could be met by harvesting ocean energy.

Each cable serving the PacWave South test facility will be rated at 5-megawatt peak power at 36kV and will carry fiber optic bundles for data transmission. The cables will be buried 3 to 6 feet below the seafloor and at the shoreline will make landfall through individual, pre-installed conduits bored underground to Driftwood Beach State Recreation Site south of Seal Rock.

The length of the cables will average approximately 12 miles each. The total length of all the subsea cables combined will be approximately 62 miles.

The PacWave South project is estimated to cost approximately $80 million and is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Oregon and other public and private entities. Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences is managing the construction and operation of the facility.

The information session on the subsea cable project will be at 8 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time Aug. 13; it will held online via Zoom. The session will provide an opportunity for those interested in the project to learn more about it and network with other potential interested parties. Attendance at the session is not a requirement for companies wishing to respond to the solicitation.

Interested parties are encouraged to complete a brief survey in advance of the information session: https://beav.es/ooa

Contact information provided through the survey will be shared to facilitate collaboration among interested companies. Those who complete the survey also will receive updates when additional details about the information session and solicitation become available.

To learn more about the upcoming solicitation, visit http://pacwaveenergy.org/subsea-cable-information-session

Details about accessing the information session online also will be made available on the website.

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