A new renewable energy project is about to make waves off the coast of Oregon. No, we’re not talking about off-shore wind, we’re talking wave power: clean, green electricity generating by nothing more than the movement of the ocean itself.
Wave power, according to USA Today’s Green House, works by means of a floating buoy that rises and falls with ocean surface waves, driving a plunger connected to a hydraulic pump that converts the up and down motion into electricity. The company behind the installation, Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), has its first PowerBuoy wave power generator planned for at a site off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon, with nine more to follow by 2012.
The Reedsport wave park project is currently in the environmental permitting phase, but OPT anticipates filing a Final License Application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission soon. The project is expected to deliver approximately 4,140 megawatt-hours per year to the Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative, which is enough to power 375 homes and displace an estimated 2,110 tons of CO2 on an annual basis.