photo provided by Brenda Langley
Since 2008, PMEC has been dedicated to accelerating the responsible development of wave, tidal, in-river, and offshore wind energy technologies. The Center unites faculty and students across three leading universities in their work with key stakeholders to investigate technical, environmental, and social dimensions of marine energy.
To facilitate the commercialization of marine energy technology, inform regulatory and policy decisions, and close key gaps in scientific understanding with a focus on student growth and development.
PMEC is an umbrella organization that unifies testing, research & development, and educational programs in marine energy across the University of Washington (lead), Oregon State University, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Individual projects typically cross-cut these capabilities and often involve collaborative teams drawn from multiple institutions. For example, a graduate student might conduct research towards their degree at one of the affiliated test facilities.
Projects are collaborative with partners in private industry and National Laboratories.
In 2008, as part of congressional action establishing the Department of Energy’s marine energy research program, DOE was directed to create and support a number of National Marine Renewable Energy Centers (NMRECs). Three of these centers were competitively selected and launched at U.S. universities in the Pacific Northwest, the Southeast, and in Hawaii, each with unique research and testing capabilities related to addressing the most pressing questions for new marine energy technology development.
At its inception, the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) was funded by a single DOE grant. Oregon State University (OSU) served as the lead organization and the University of Washington (UW) as a supporting partner. In the years since, NNMREC evolved into an umbrella organization that coordinates marine energy activities supported by DOE, as well as the Department of Defense (DOD), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). During this time, NNMREC also expanded to include the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), signed Memorandums of Understanding with multiple international institutions, and solidified partnerships with the marine energy industry and the three DOE National Laboratories with active research programs in marine energy (NREL, PNNL, and Sandia).
In 2018, NNMREC rebranded as the Pacific Marine Energy Center.