Wave energy developer deploys PowerBuoy system for U.S. Navy

Wave energy developer Ocean Power Technologies announced Oct. 16 it installed and commissioned a 40-kW PowerBuoy system in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey under contract from the U.S. Navy.

The Navy is studying the PowerBuoy, which converts wave motion into electricity, for its Deep Water Active Detection System program. The Navy plans to test the PowerBuoy as a power source for the program, which uses data gathering and communications systems, and unattended sensor networks over wide areas of ocean.

�In addition to our utility PowerBuoy business for large capacity, grid-connected power stations, we believe that the use of smaller-scale PowerBuoys for autonomous applications provides additional revenue-generation opportunities for the company,� OPT Chief Executive Officer George Taylor said.

Over three days, OPT and the Navy installed a deep water anchoring system and completed mooring of the PowerBuoy at a site 75 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

OPT also noted it deployed a PowerBuoy in Spain, part of the 1.39-MW Santona wave energy project, in September. (HNN 9/24/08) The 40-kW PowerBuoy was deployed under contract with Spanish utility Iberdrola.

In October, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $2 million to OPT in support of the company’s 2.1-MW Reedsport, Ore., wave power project. (HNN 10/3/08) OPT said it plans to use the money to help fund fabrication, assembly, and factory testing of the first 150-kW PowerBuoy system for the Reedsport site.

Ocean Power sees benefit from U.S. production tax credit

Ocean Power Technologies said Oct. 15 that it expects to benefit from Congress’ extension of production tax credits for renewable energy projects and the expansion of the PTC law to include ocean energy and in-stream hydrokinetic projects.

Congress acted Oct. 3 to pass the bill, which President Bush signed the same day. (HNN 10/3/08)

Production tax credits will be allowed for marine renewable energy facilities of at least 150 kW that are placed in service between Oct. 3, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011. The tax credit rate for marine renewables is 1 cent per kWh for ten years.

“The PTC is expected to directly benefit the deployment of OPT’s PowerBuoys in the United States,” Taylor said. “For example, a 50-MW OPT wave power station could receive credits worth up to $15 million over a ten-year period. These new tax credit provisions make out national priorities clear, and establish commitment to changing our energy security profile, as well as to creating jobs in the renewable energy sector.”

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