Pennington, N.J., August 20, 2012 — Ocean Power Technologies unit Reedsport OPT Wave Park won approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the full build-out of its planned 1.5 MW, grid-connected wave power station off Reedsport, Oregon.
This is the first FERC license for a wave power station issued in the U.S. and provides an important regulatory approval for the deployment of up to 10 OPT devices generating enough electricity for about 1,000 homes.
Construction of the initial PowerBuoy is nearing completion and it is expected to be ready for deployment about 2.5 miles off the Reedsport coast later this year. OPT has received funding for this first system from the U.S. Department of Energy, with the support of the Oregon Congressional delegation, and from PNGC Power, an Oregon-based electric power cooperative.
Specifically, FERC has granted a 35-year license for grid-connected, wave energy production. This follows an extensive process of environment assessment, notifications to the public, assessment of federal and state regulations, and consideration of a broad array of comments, recommendations and terms and conditions.
In August 2010, OPT signed a groundbreaking settlement agreement with 11 federal and Oregon state agencies and three non-governmental stakeholders for its utility-scale wave power project at Reedsport. FERC gave strong consideration to the agreements set forth in the SA in determining key provisions of the license.
The SA supports the responsible, phased development by OPT of a 1.5 MW wave energy station in a manner that protects ocean resources and stakeholder interests. 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 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.
After the initial PowerBuoy is deployed, OPT plans to construct the balance of the wave power station, consisting of up to nine additional PowerBuoys and grid connection infrastructure, subject to receipt of additional funding and all necessary regulatory approvals.