PacWave South Project (OCS-P 0560)

Credit PacWave/Oregon State University
Credit PacWave/Oregon State University

What's New?

July 28, 2021 – BOEM publishes public notice to inform of lease issuance and to define the size of lease area.

February 16, 2021 – BOEM Issues Lease to Oregon State University for the PacWave South Project, the First Wave Energy Research Project in Federal Waters Offshore the U.S. West Coast.

The Federal marine hydrokinetic energy (MHK) research lease was issued to Oregon State University (OSU) for the PacWave South project, a proposed open ocean wave energy test center, to be located approximately six nautical miles off Newport, Oregon. The research lease area is approximately 4,270 acres (6.67 square miles) for a proposed 2.65 square mile-project. Lease issuance by BOEM is a prerequisite for a license from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is the Federal Agency that would approve project construction and operations.


OSU submitted an unsolicited request for a research lease for the PacWave South Project, formerly known as the Pacific Marine Energy Center – South Energy Test Site (PMEC-SETS) Project, in October 2013. The project would consist of four test ‘berths’ to support the testing of up to 20 wave energy devices, with an installed capacity not to exceed 20 megawatts, to demonstrate the viability of wave energy.

Unsolicited Lease Request

In March 2014, BOEM published a Request for Competitive Interest in the Federal Register. Comments were submitted in response to the request. June 2014, BOEM published a Determination of No Competitive Interest in the area requested by Oregon State University and proceeded with the leasing process on a non-competitive basis.

Jurisdiction for grid-connected marine hydrokinetic (MHK) projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is shared by BOEM and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). BOEM has authority to issue leases, easements, and rights-of way and FERC has authority for the construction and operations of MHK projects on the OCS. Visit BOEM’s Regulatory Framework and Guidelines for more information on the regulatory process.

In June 2014, FERC published a Notice of Intent to File License Application and OSU’s request to use the Alternative Licensing Process was approved. Additionally, OSU filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD). OSU submitted the Final License Application to FERC in May 2019. In July 2019, OSU amended the lease request area to include the Aliquots encompassed by the project site, as detailed in the Final License Application to FERC. On August 29, 2019, FERC published a notice which (1) accepted the application for filing and (2) solicits anyone, over a 30-day window, to submit comments, a motion to intervene and protest, final terms and conditions, recommendations, and prescriptions.

On April 23, 2020, FERC issued the Environmental Assessment for the PacWave South Project along with a Notice of Availability which includes a 45-day comment period for the Environmental Assessment. BOEM's proposed action is to issue a research lease and easements for five subsea transmission cables on the OCS.

On January 19, 2020, BOEM offered the first marine renewable energy research lease in Federal waters off the U.S. West Coast. 

On January 19, 2021, BOEM issued the Finding of No Significant Impact for the MHK research lease based on the analysis in the Environmental Assessment and offered an MHK research lease to OSU for the PacWave South Project.

February 16, 2021 – BOEM Issues lease to OSU for the PacWave South Project

March 1, 2021 - FERC issues license order to OSU for the PacWave South Hydrokinetic Project No. 14616

July 28, 2021 – BOEM publishes public notice to inform of lease issuance and to define the size of lease area.

Additional information related to OSU’s licensing with FERC can be found at FERC’s website (use the “eLibrary” link and P-14616 for the “Docket Number”).