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Bonamici Celebrates Earth Day by Visiting Marine Energy Device at Vigor

April 22, 2019
Press Release


PORTLAND, OR [04/22/19] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, marked Earth Day by discussing the tremendous potential of marine energy as a renewable resource.


The Congresswoman visited an 826-ton wave energy device manufactured by Vigor. Leaders from the Pacific Marine Energy Center and Oregon State University who are developing the nation’s first full-scale test facility for wave energy conversion also joined the event. Photos from the visit are available here and a time-lapse video of the device under construction is available here.


“As we transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy, we must recognize that marine energy is an untapped renewable energy source,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “A robust federal investment will catalyze this nascent industry. Because of the efforts of Oregon State University and the Pacific Marine Energy Center, Oregon is at the forefront of marine energy. The advanced, complex manufacturing capacity of companies like Vigor and Oregon’s reputation as an innovator in clean and renewable energy further boost our potential to reap the economic benefits of the transition to renewable energy sources and create good-paying jobs. I will continue to champion clean energy efforts to address the climate crisis.”


“We are thrilled to bring the collective skilled manufacturing talents of Vigor’s people to a project aimed at a cleaner energy future for our planet,” said Vigor CEO Frank Foti. “This project represents a solid step forward in developing a commercially viable product to help move us in that critical direction. We commend the vision, innovation, and funding behind it by both private and public partners.” 


Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the surface of our planet and can be used as a plentiful, renewable energy resource. Waves, tides, and currents carry kinetic energy that can be captured and converted into electricity to power homes, buildings, and cities. 


“Marine energy holds incredible promise and we look to maximize its intrinsic benefits for Oregon and the US,” said Bryson Robertson, co-Director of the Pacific Marine Energy Center at Oregon State University. “This buoy is just one of a pipeline of US companies and associated supply chain industries which are actively creating jobs, driving economic growth, and reducing our impact on the climate.”


Bonamici has long advocated for funding for marine energy. Earlier this year, she led 41 of her colleagues in advocating for $135 million for the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, which supports investments in hydropower, marine, and hydrokinetic energy technologies, including research and development at the Pacific Marine Energy Center.  In September of 2018, she helped secure $105 million for the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office. She successfully added an amendment to increase funding for water power technology in the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.