Developer signs agreement for 62.5 MW Australian wave energy project

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. has signed an agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency via its wholly-owned subsidy, Victorian Wave partners Pty Ltd, which will ultimately allow for the building of a wave power station off the coast of Portland, Australia.

The agreement between Victorian Wave Partners (VWP) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is a Deed of Variation to the original Funding Deed, through which a US$58.4 million grant was awarded by the Australian Commonwealth.

The grant will be used to construct and deploy the wave power station, which could eventually have an installed capacity of 62.5 MW.

VWP won the grant through a competitive process undertaken by Australia’s Renewable Energy Demonstration Program, which is administered by ARENA.

“We are pleased to support development of the VWP demonstration project,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said. “It aligns with our vision of a society increasingly powered by competitive renewable energy, as well as our commitment to sharing knowledge and information about our projects with the industry.”

OPT said the “important changes” included in the new agreement are “the incorporation of milestones for each of the three stages of the project, acceleration of reimbursement of eligible expenses for stages one and two, and an increase in the number of milestones to better support project cash flow requirements.”

The agreement also recognizes the role of Lockheed Martin in the project as “lead for systems integration”, per an agreement announced this past July.

“We are very grateful for the support of the Australian Government and ARENA during this process to make positive changes to the original Funding Deed,” OPT CEO Charles F. Dunleavy said. “This new agreement significantly improves our ability to attract investors during the early stages of the project.

The $203.6 million project could eventually feature as many as 28 of OPT’s “PowerBuoy” generating units, making it the largest such installation of its kind in the world.

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