The centre, located at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii (HNEI-UH), is working in collaboration with the US Navy to develop a Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) in Kaneohe, Oahu. It is being funded by the Wind and Water Power Program of the US Department of Energy.
WETS will provide a location for the ocean testing and demonstration of wave energy converter (WEC) devices. WEC technologies seek to convert the energy associated with the oscillatory motion of ocean surface waves into a more useful form – typically electricity. The WETS facility currently has one test berth established in 30 m deep water, and is being expanded with two additional berths at 60 m and 80 m depths, with connection to the MCBH electricity grid.
HINMREC's role at the WETS facility includes the evaluation of WEC system performance. GL Garrad Hassan's wave energy team will provide wave energy test protocols, support HNEI-UH with processing performance data, and conduct independent numerical model verification exercises for HNEI-UH's WEC operational models over the next two years.
"We conducted a thorough search before choosing GL Garrad Hassan to provide us with what I like to call a reality check that can only be based on actual experience," said D. Luis Vega, Program Manager for HINMREC.
"Our wave energy team at GL Garrad Hassan is excited to bring our expertise to what we feel is a very important project for the industry,” said Jarett Goldsmith, project manager for wave and tidal energy at GL Garrad Hassan America. “The development of such test sites in the United States, which reduce costs and risks of deployment and enable technology developers to learn more rapidly in a highly monitored environment, is critical for growth of the wave energy sector from its early stages into a fully realized commercial industry in this country."
GL Garrad Hassan has been involved in over 100 projects in the wave and tidal energy across the globe, covering resource characterisation, design and testing of MHK devices, project feasibility, front-end engineering studies, technical due diligence, and development of standards and guidelines.