Ocean Power Technologies picks production facility for wave energy device

Pennington, N.J., December 10, 2009 – Ocean Power Technologies selected Oregon Iron Works to begin construction of its first commercial wave energy PowerBuoy system in North America, to be installed off the Oregon coast near Reedsport.

Oregon Iron Works is an Oregon company specializing in “green tech” manufacturing. The partnership is the result of Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s effort to bring green jobs and renewable energy to the Oregon economy.

Construction of this first PowerBuoy system represents Phase One of an expected 10-PowerBuoy Reedsport wave power station, the first commercial-scale facility of its type in North America, which will generate approximately 1.5 MW of electricity.

The nine additional PowerBuoys will be constructed and installed under Phase Two of the project.

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OPT and OIW estimate that construction of the first PowerBuoy PB150 wave energy device, rated at a capacity of 150 KW, will create or sustain about 30 green jobs over the next nine months.

The PowerBuoy PB150 uses the rise and fall of waves to move the buoy up and down and drive an electric generator inside the buoy. The electricity is then conditioned and transmitted ashore as high-voltage power via an underwater cable.

The Reedsport wave power station will be located about 2.5 miles off the coast and connect directly to the Bonneville Power Administration’s Gardiner Substation. Most of the buoy will sit below the ocean’s surface, making the device nearly invisible from the shoreline.

PNGC Power, a regional generation and transmission public electric power cooperative, may purchase some of the electricity on behalf of their Northwest customers.

PNGC has provided partial funding for Phase One of the Reedsport project. It is estimated that completion of the two-phase project will create or sustain over 150 green jobs in the fabrication, assembly, installation and maintenance of the Reedsport power station.

OPT has identified the Oregon Coast as one of the world’s top sources for future wave energy development. The company is in the advanced stages of completing its first PB150 in the UK for deployment in Scotland’s Orkney Islands next year.

The technology development for this device will also be applied for projects in North America.


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Ocean Power Technologies to develop wave power station in Japan

Pennington, N.J., October 8, 2009 – Ocean Power Technologies signed an agreement with three Japanese companies to develop a demonstration wave power station in Japan.

The Japanese consortium comprises Idemitsu Kosan Co., Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co., and Japan Wind Development Co.

Further, OPT has been invited to become a member of the Tokyo Wave Power Initiative, a committee including the city of Tokyo, regional governments and national agencies involved in the promotion of new energy sources.

This agreement is the company’s first project in Japan and is in line with OPT’s global strategy to form alliances with strategic partners in key markets.

OPT now has a range of power generation projects globally, including those in Oregon and Hawaii, USA; Scotland and Southwest England; Spain; Australia; and Japan.

The initial phase of the project will be for OPT and the consortium to work with the Japanese government to increase the recognition of wave power in Japanese energy policy, and to identify favorable sites for OPT wave power stations and assess their commercial prospects.

Subject to the successful identification of a project site and completion of economic assessments, the parties plan to enter into an agreement to build a demonstration plant with up to three of the company’s PowerBuoys.

The trial plant would provide the basis for the expected building of a commercial-scale OPT wave power station with an initial capacity of 10 MW or more. Total output from the wave power station would be sold to electric utilities, and at 10 MW, could provide power for up to 3,000 households in Japan.

Under the anticipated agreement to build the demonstration plant, OPT will sell the equipment for the power station to the consortium. For subsequent wave power stations, the consortium will provide manufacturing and maintenance of the power stations and on-going plant operations, while OPT will provide its PowerBuoy technology under license and also sell certain subsystems of the plant to the consortium.

Japan’s recently elected Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, has pledged to target a 25 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. The government also plans to introduce a “feed in” tariff, or other financial reward, for renewable energy production as part of its intentions to boost renewable energy sources to about 10 percent of primary energy supply by 2020.