Construction crews working a few miles offshore from the port of Newport, Ore., are building the final portions of a sprawling $80 million test facility designed to develop a new form of clean energy: machines that can convert the power of ocean wave movements into electricity.

They are finishing the conduits for undersea cables designed to feed power from a variety of offshore devices to the Western power grid.

The facility, called PacWave South, is the latest part of a multinational effort to fill a gap that experts predict will grow as more nations shift to solar and wind energy and as traditional power plants that rely on coal or natural gas eventually shut down to reduce carbon emissions.

Burke Hales, PacWave’s chief scientist, said the constant motion of the ocean could provide energy at times of waning wind and solar power. Unlike solar energy, “wave power does not set,” Hales said in an interview, referring to sunsets.

The machines that his facility is being designed to test is called “wave energy conversion devices.” One of the biggest questions surrounding them is whether they can withstand the damaging corrosion of salt water and the constant pounding of ocean waves to help meet future clean energy standards.

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