U.S. awards additional $1.1 million for Hawaii wave project

The U.S. Navy has awarded an additional $1.1 million in funding to wave energy developer Ocean Power Technologies for an ongoing project to demonstrate a wave energy system in Hawaii.

OPT announced the contract award April 1. The company deployed its PowerBuoy system in October 2008 a mile off the coast of Hawaii. (HNN 11/17/08)

OPT launched the unit under the company’s ongoing program with the Navy for installation of PowerBuoys off the U.S. Marine base at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. OPT received $1.9 million for the project from the Navy in 2007 and another $300,000 in 2008. (HNN 10/5/07)

During initial commissioning tests, the power produced by the system was in line with predicted levels, OPT said. The new funds provided by the Navy primarily will be used to support continued upgrades and testing of the PowerBuoy system, for improved ocean durability, the company said.

�This project reflects the ongoing commitment of the U.S. Navy to renewable energy generation and sustainable development,� OPT Chief Executive Officer Mark Draper said. �It furthers the long-standing partnership which OPT has had with the U.S. Navy in developing our core PowerBuoy technology.�

Resembling an ocean buoy, the PowerBuoy system is based on OPT’s proprietary design. The unit is compact and modular in design, generating power by moving up and down on a central spar as waves pass by.

OPT is involved in a number of initiatives to develop wave power projects. In January, OPT and Lockheed Martin announced they intend to collaborate to develop a utility-scale wave power generation project in North America. (HNN 1/26/09) OPT also is one of four developers named to test generating equipment at the United Kingdom’s offshore Wave Hub project. (HNN 3/13/09)

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