Oregon Wave-Power Project Gets Federal Go-Ahead

OPT said it has received funding for the Oregon project from the U.S. Department of Energy, “with the support of the Oregon Congressional delegation, and from PNGC Power, an Oregon-based electric power cooperative.”

opt powerbuoy150

PB150 before deployment in Scotland. (image via Ocean Power Technologies)

OPT deployed a PB150 in Scotland, in March 2011, and reported in July 2011 that over the course of two months, the turbine generated between 45 kilowatts during low tide up to 400 kW during violent storms, putting it on track to average out at 150 kW. Versions of the device have also been tested in Hawaii and Spain.

CEO Dunleavy said in the interview with EarthTechling that the extensive testing of the PowerBuoy over the last few years had demonstrated that “the technology as is now configured is salable into commercial markets.” But with wave power in its infancy, he added that the PowerBuoy was “at an early commercial level” and that the company was “constantly looking for ways to improve it.”

Earlier this summer, OPT announced it would partner with Lockheed Martin to develop a 19-megawatt, government-backed wave power array in Australia.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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