U.S. awards $2 million to Ocean Power for Oregon wave project

The Department of Energy awarded $2 million to developer Ocean Power Technologies Inc. in support of the company's 2.1-MW Reedsport, Ore., wave power project.

OPT, which announced the award Oct. 2, said it would use the money to help fund fabrication, assembly, and factory testing of the first PowerBuoy system to be installed at the Reedsport site. The 150-kW PB150 PowerBuoy system is to generate power by moving up and down on a central spar as waves pass by. Much of the system will be manufactured and assembled in Oregon.

Money for the award in the amount of $1,968,000 was included as a congressional earmark by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Sens. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. OPT Chief Executive Officer George Taylor expressed appreciation for the Oregon congressional delegation's support in sponsoring the award.

PNGC Power, a Portland, Ore.-based electric cooperative, previously agreed to provide $500,000 for the Reedsport project. (HNN 9/20/07)

Installation of the first PB150 PowerBuoy is the first phase of an OPT project to install ten such systems generating a total of 1.5 MW at a site about 2.5 miles off the coast of Oregon. The first PowerBuoy is expected to be ready for deployment in the second half of 2009, the company said. Following deployment, OPT plans to manufacture and install the additional nine systems. The company expects the systems will begin operating in 2010, following receipt of federal regulatory approvals.

OPT, headquartered in Pennington, N.J., originally received a preliminary permit to study a 50-MW Reedsport OPT Wave Park. It later filed notice with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it intends to apply for a hydropower license to build and operate a 2.1-MW version of the project (No. 12713).

In September, DOE's Advanced Water Power Program named 14 waterpower research projects to share in $7.3 million as partners with DOE in testing, demonstration, validation, and development of advanced waterpower technologies. (HNN 9/18/08)

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