Oregon Wave Energy Project

Ocean Power Technologies' PowerBuoy truss and heave plate being fitted up prior to welding.
PowerBuoy truss and heave plate being fitted up prior to welding.

Ocean Power Technologies has signed a groundbreaking Settlement Agreement with 11 federal and state agencies and three non-governmental stakeholders for its utility-scale wave power project at Reedsport, Oregon.

This agreement represents a major step towards the grant of the first license ever issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a commercial-scale wave power project in the US. The SA supports the responsible, phased development by OPT of a 10-PowerBuoy, 1.5 megawatt capacity wave energy station in a manner that protects ocean resources and stakeholder interests. Manufacturing of the first 150 kilowatt PB150 PowerBuoy is already underway at Oregon Iron Works under its contract with OPT. The 10-buoy wave farm is expected to be connected to the grid after receipt of the FERC license and additional funding, supplying clean energy to approximately 1,000 homes.

This first-ever wave energy SA was reached after extensive technical, policy, and legal discussions regarding appropriate prevention, mitigation, and enhancement measures, and study requirements. It covers a broad array of resource areas including aquatic resources, water quality, recreation, public safety, crabbing and fishing, terrestrial resources, and cultural resources. The SA includes an innovative Adaptive Management Plan that will be used to identify and implement environmental studies that may be required, and to provide a blueprint for the application of this new information as the wave power station develops.

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. This is an exciting time for our State and I look forward to continuing to foster this new industry in Oregon in a way that is sensitive to marine habitat and continues to value this important resource for Oregon’s fishermen.”

Dr. George W. Taylor, Executive Chairman of OPT, commented, “This agreement demonstrates OPT’s commitment to develop wave power in a way that respects the environment and the needs of all who rely on ocean resources for many different uses. It shows how the private sector can work together effectively with federal, state, municipal and local groups to attain important common goals of sustainable development. I commend the State of Oregon, the City of Reedsport, and all of the stakeholders for supporting the use of OPT’s innovative wave power technology as it transitions to a fully commercial product. Also, we would not have gotten to this historic point without the determination of Oregon’s Governor Ted Kulongoski, who has worked hard to make Oregon a leader in the responsible development of wave power. This development will help pave the way for the United States to retain a technological advantage in wave power, an advantage that has been ceded to other countries that produce solar panels and wind turbines. Wave energy has the potential to create manufacturing jobs in America, while providing low-cost clean, environmentally benign electricity to help replace the use of fossil fuels.”

Ocean Power Technologies is a pioneer in wave-energy technology that harnesses ocean wave resources to generate reliable, clean, and environmentally-beneficial electricity. OPT has a strong track record in the advancement of wave energy and participates in a $150 billion annual power generation equipment market. The Company’s proprietary PowerBuoy system is based on modular, ocean-going buoys that capture and convert predictable wave energy into low-cost, clean electricity. The Company is widely recognized as a leading developer of on-grid and autonomous wave-energy generation systems, benefiting from over a decade of in-ocean experience. OPT’s technology and systems are insured by Lloyds Underwriters of London. OPT is headquartered in Pennington, New Jersey with offices in Warwick, UK.

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