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.
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.