First U.S. Wave-Energy Project Moves Forward

Joanna Schroeder

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), a New Jersey-based company focusing on harnessing energy from oceans, announced a major step towards the approval of a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build the first commercial wave park on the West Coast. OTC has signed a Settlement Agreement (SA) with 11 federal and state agencies along with three non-governmental stakeholders for its utility-scale wave power project to be located 2.5 miles offshore near Reedsport, Oregon.

The wave park will be comprised of 10 PB150 PowerBuoys with a maximum sustained generating capacity of 150 kiloWatts, an undersea substation to collect the power and a submarine cable to deliver the power to the Pacific Northwest Grid. Once complete, it is anticipated that 4,140 MegaWatt hours per year will be delivered to the grid – or enough electricity to power up to 375 homes. The company reports that the first PB150 PowerBuoy is already being constructed at the Oregon Iron Works.

As reported in a company press release, this first-ever wave energy SA was reached after extensive technical, policy, and legal discussions to place to discuss appropriate prevention, mitigation and enhancement measures.

Oregon’s Governor, Ted Kulongoski, said, “The Settlement Agreement is a groundbreaking document that demonstrates the State’s commitment to partnering with the private sector and coastal communities to explore how we can tap into the renewable resource of ocean waves to power our communities. The manufacture of the first buoy has already created dozens of green-energy jobs in Oregon and when the 10-buoy wave power project is built, a whole new industry will be created to benefit our coastal communities. This is an exciting time for our State and I look forward to continuing to foster this new industry in Oregon in a way that is sensitive to marine habitat and continues to value this important resource for Oregon’s fishermen.”

Electricity, Energy, News