Oregon Wave Power Project Advances
December 09 2009 | Ocean Ecosystems, Ocean Energy,
by Rick Wilson
Last Friday morning, New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies
announced that it had contracted with Oregon Iron Works
to start building what it hopes will become a 10-buoy test system in the waters off Reedsport, Ore.
The first buoy is expected to deploy in a year. Two years after that, nine more buoys should go into the water. The fully deployed, $60 million system is expected to have a capacity of 1.5 megawatts — about half that of a single giant wind turbine (though the waves should be able to provide power around the clock, unlike the intermittent wind). OPT hopes to develop a much larger wave farm nearby that could have as many as 200 buoys.
The project will sit 2.5 miles offshore and connect to a Bonneville Power Administration substation. The project was being paid for with a combination of funds from Ocean Power, as well as federal dollars, Oregon tax breaks and money from the electric company, PNGC Power
, which has agreed to purchase the power for its customers in Douglass County, Ore.