Office of Research

Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center


NNMREC has a full range of capabilities to support wave and tidal energy development for the United States. NNMREC is structured to:
1. Close key gaps in understanding through the support of baseline studies, on-going monitoring, and setting the technical, ecological, and human dimensions standards for marine energy projects;
2. Educate and mentor the next generation of marine energy-related scientists, engineers, and educators in the U.S.
3. Facilitate device commercialization through development of standards for validation and evaluation of devices;
4. Inform regulatory and policy decisions, and
5. Inform and engage industry, science, and the public.
NNMREC serves as an integrated, standardized test center for U.S. and international developers of wave and tidal energy. Here, device and array optimization can be tested for effective deployment of wave and tidal energy technologies, improved forecasting of the wave energy resource can be made, and studies leading to the increased reliability and survivability of marine energy systems can be realized. NNMREC also evaluates the potential ecosystem and human dimensions impacts. It focuses on the compatibility of marine energy technologies with ocean and coastal environments and coastal users.


Core Services Offered

Tidal energy activities are structured around four key areas:
1. Modeling and monitoring of environmental effects from tidal energy device operation.
2. Instrumentation for cost-effective characterization of sites and devices.
3. Optimization of arrays with respect to device orientation and placement.
4. Improved reliability and survavibility of devices through use of advanced composites.

Funding Information:

US Department of Energy core support: $1.25M over five years
- Congressional support via US Department of Energy
- Industry and National Laboratory led research grants

Reporting Structure:

Matt O'Donnell, Dean, College of Engineering.
Office of Research. Office of the Provost.

Related UW Entities:

College of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering), Applied Physics Laboratory, College of the Environment (School of Oceanography, School of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences)

Center Details

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Directors: Brian Polagye
Belinda Batten
Location: University of Washington and Oregon State University
Year Started: 2008
Administrator / Program Manager: Ashford, Meleah
Administering College/School: College of Engineering 
P.I. Home Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering 
Faculty Involvement: 8