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Bonamici-Led Funding for OSU Wave Research Passes House, Senate

September 14, 2018
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [09/13/18] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici praised the passage of a spending bill that includes $105 million for the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, which supports investments in hydropower, marine, and hydrokinetic energy technologies, including research at the Pacific Marine Energy Center.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Program supports the development and deployment of innovative technologies for creating clean, domestic power from resources such as hydropower, waves, and tides. The Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC) relies on funding from the DOE’s Water Power Program. A partnership between Oregon State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the PMEC facilitates collaborative research to investigate the technical, environmental, and social dimensions of marine energy.

“Harnessing energy from waves, currents, and tides is an exciting frontier in the renewable energy sector,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “I’m proud to have secured funding for this critical research to help the Pacific Marine Energy Center establish the nation’s fully energetic on-grid wave energy test facility off the Oregon Coast. This will advance the efforts at Oregon State University to harness the power of water to help meet our nation’s clean energy needs, create good-paying jobs, and spur economic growth in our communities.”

“Oregon State University is pleased that Congress, with leadership in the US House of Representatives from Rep. Bonamici, approved robust investment in FY 2019 appropriations to the US Department of Energy for marine energy technology innovation,” said Dr. Roberta Marinelli, Dean of the College of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) at Oregon State University. “CEOAS is currently overseeing a Department of Energy funded effort to design and construct the nation’s premier off-shore, deep water, grid-connected marine energy convertor test facility off the coast of Newport, OR. This FY 2019 investment in wave energy technology innovation and testing is essential to realize the potential for marine energy to contribute to a resilient, diverse, and renewable energy future.”

Bonamici has long advocated for funding for hydropower, marine, and hydrokinetic energy technologies. She successfully added an amendment to increase funding for water power technology in the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Earlier this year, she led 44 of her colleagues in sending a letter to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee requesting robust funding for the DOE Water Power Technologies Office.

As a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the top Democrat on the Environment Subcommittee, Bonamici questioned Energy Secretary Rick Perry at a Congressional hearing about the Administration's proposed budget cuts for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In June, she offered a bipartisan amendment with Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) to increase funding for the Water Power Technologies Office.