Ocean Power Technologies Inc. announces the deployment of a PB3 PowerBuoy® for Enel Green Power (EGP) off the coast of Las Cruces, Chile.
In September 2019, EGP purchased a PB3 PowerBuoy and associated equipment from OPT to support Chile’s Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC) Project, a marine energy innovation hub.
OPT’s PB3 PowerBuoy converts wave motion into electricity to supply continuous and autonomous power and enable secure collection and transmission of data from the sea. The autonomous offshore platform will eventually power a suite of oceanographic sensors and transmit real-time environmental data to a shore station studying the potential effect of marine energy under real-world sea conditions.
“Chile has excellent conditions in terms of marine resources to produce wave energy. This type of energy production has several advantages: it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; it is silent, and it is not located in populated areas. The installation of this device represents great progress on the path towards the development of renewable energies in Chile,” said James Lee Stancampiano, chairman of the board of MERIC.
An associated shore station was developed and supplied by OPT and assembled and installed by Chile-based Salmoboats. Italy-based iSat provided a shore-based wave radar system, installed by local contractor BZ Naval.
OPT originally scheduled the Chile deployment in April 2020, but international travel restrictions and operational limits on work activities in the country related to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented implementation. To complete the installation while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, OPT project engineers and marine operations technicians used remote collaboration tools to work closely with contractors on site. Salmoboats performed all onshore preparations and acted as OPT’s site representative. Louisiana-based SeaTrepid International LLC, which has experience working in the region, deployed the assembled PB3 PowerBuoy.
“We are proud of the work performed to deploy the PB3 PowerBuoy for EGP and to help bring new clean energy solutions to Chile,” said George H. Kirby, president and chief executive officer of OPT. “We look forward to continuing to expand our presence in Chile and throughout South America.”
OPT will continue to monitor the operational performance of the PB3 PowerBuoy and provide remote diagnostics and support as needed. The project is scheduled to run through October 2023.
EGP, within the Enel Group, develops and operates renewable energy plants worldwide and is present in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. The company has a total capacity of around 49 GW from wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power.