Ocean or wave power energy isn’t one of the “Big Four” renewable energies: solar, wind, biofuel, and geothermal. But several companies and government agencies have been quietly working toward making ocean energy a viable sustainable alternative.
Recently one of these companies took a big step forward. Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) (Nasdaq: OPTT) has concluded a Settlement Agreement with 11 state and federal agencies for a utility-scale wave power project in Oregon. The company sees the agreement as a major step towards obtaining the first ever license the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues for a commercial wave power project.
The deal will allow the deployment of ten PowerBuoy devices. PowerBuoys move up and down with waves – allowing a power take-off to drive an electric generator. The electricity is transmitted to land by an underwater cable.
When complete, the 1.5 megawatt capacity wave station should produce enough energy to power a thousand homes. The company is already manufacturing the first 150 kilowatt PB150 PowerBuoy at the Oregon Iron Works.
The nation’s first wave power Settlement Agreement needed to cross a number of technological and legal hurdles regarding appropriate prevention, mitigation and enhancement measures, and study requirements. The agreement covers a wide variety of areas, including: aquatic resources, water quality, recreation, public safety, crabbing and fishing, and terrestrial and cultural resources.
Oregon Governor, Ted Kulongoski, said: "The Settlement Agreement is a groundbreaking document that demonstrates the State's commitment to partnering with the private sector and coastal communities to explore how we can tap into the renewable resource of ocean waves to power our communities. The manufacture of the first buoy has already created dozens of green-energy jobs in Oregon and when the 10-buoy wave power project is built, a whole new industry will be created to benefit our coastal communities."
Learn more about wave energy on eBoom's Emerging Energy Learning Page.
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