The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), as part of its site selection process for the Pacific Marine Energy Center, has selected two communities from the four initially considered as potential locations for the grid connected test facility.
The four original sites were Warrenton, Newport, Reedsport, and Coos Bay. The two communities selected for further consideration are Newport and Reedsport.
Early in NNMREC’s community outreach process, they considered partnering with Camp Rilea to site PMEC as part of Camp Rilea’s proposed wave energy project.. The Oregon Department of Military has expressed enthusiastic support for this idea, and provided the feasibility study of their location that was prepared by SAIC.
Cost is a major challenge to this site. The location for PMEC would likely be approximately 9 – 10 nautical miles from shore. As undersea cables are the most expensive part of project, this site would incur significant additional costs for the cable installation. Transit to and from the deep water site would also drive up costs associated with the site.
While there are likely possibilities for attracting funds for onshore infrastructure that could be shared, those funds are not currently available to offset the additional cabling costs. Therefore, funding opportunities for the Camp Rilea alternative are similar to those in the other communities, therefore the distance to the site makes the cost of locating PMEC there prohibitive.
In addition, locating onshore infrastructure within the camp could be problematic if future military decisions or national security measures were to limit access.