Marine hydro firm OPT prepares PowerBuoy wave machine for ocean trials

Marine hydropower company Ocean Power Technologies recently revealed progress in its 150-kW PowerBuoy project to be deployed off the coast of Reedsport, Ore., in 2011.

With the steel structure for its PB150 PowerBuoy completed, fabrication is now under way on the power take-off and control systems, which will be tested out initially on land in the first half of 2011 before ocean trials begin, media reported.

OPT, which has its headquarters in Pennington, N.J., looks set to become the first company to deploy a utility-scale wave farm in US waters.

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an environmental assessment recommending the licensing of the 1.5-MW Reedsport OPT Wave Park off the coast of Oregon.

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. hopes to obtain a license in 2011 for Reedsport, called the first commercial-scale wave power project in the United States. OPT filed a settlement agreement with FERC in August, outlining proposed terms for licensing the project.

The Reedsport project consists of 10 PowerBuoy wave energy converters to be installed in a 35-acre area of the Pacific Ocean 2.5 miles off the coast of Douglas County, Ore.

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