Spanish ministers visit 1.25-MW Cantabria wave developer

A delegation of Spanish government officials visited the Spanish facilities of Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT) for the first public viewing of fully assembled equipment for the 1.25-MW Cantabria wave energy project to be deployed off the coast of Spain.

OPT said March 25 the delegation included ministers of Industry and Environment of the Cantabria Region as well as the head of Spanish energy agency IDAE and other senior Spanish government officials. Also taking part were OPT’s joint venture partners, Spanish utility Iberdrola S.A. and French energy company Total S.A.

The joint venture company, Iberdrola Energias Marinas de Cantabria S.A., signed a turnkey contract in 2006 with OPT to build the first phase of the 1.25-MW Cantabria wave power plant five miles off Santona in Cantabria Region. (HNN 9/22/06) The joint venture is to purchase the power station from OPT.

Employing OPT’s PowerBuoy technology, the 3 million euro (US$4.6 million) investment will include 10 buoys anchored on the seabed that convert wave energy into electricity. OPT already completed system design, characterization of the deployment site, assessment of wave energy resources, and determination of a transmission cable route under a preliminary agreement signed in 2004.

OPT said the final assembly and testing of the PowerBuoy is the latest significant milestone under the contract. The PB40 wave energy converter was fabricated at a local supplier in Santona. The power take-off and control system were assembled in OPT’s New Jersey, U.S., plant and shipped to Spain.

OPT is to be responsible for the Cantabria project’s operation and maintenance under a ten-year contract signed in 2007.

Ocean Power active in France, United Kingdom

OPT, Iberdrola, and Total also signed an agreement to develop wave energy installations in France. In the first phase, the three companies are to seek possible locations along the French coast and are to obtain administrative authorizations and permits needed to carry out a French pilot project.

OPT said it is in the process of securing a sub-contractor to perform wave data collection at possible French sites.

OPT also is carrying out wave energy project work at two sites in the United Kingdom

It said design is under way and some construction has begun on a PB150 PowerBuoy for deployment at the European Marine Energy Center being developed in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. (HNN 2/22/07) One of nine projects at the site, the OPT unit is to total 150 kW.

Last year, the United Kingdom gave final consent for the Wave Hub ocean energy test facility to be constructed off the coast of Hayle, Cornwall, England. One of four developers at the site, OPT is to install a 5-MW PowerBuoy project. (HNN 9/18/07)

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