Ocean Power Technologies announced Wednesday it's close to getting a license to build a wave energy plant off the coast of Oregon.
The New Jersey-based company has signed a settlement agreement that includes over 11 government agencies, and several private companies, to develop a 1.5-megawatt wave energy station.
When completed the plant will consist of 10 PowerBuoys that could generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes annually, according to Ocean Power.
Ocean Power's PowerBuoys resemble ordinary ocean buoys from the surface, but hold a piston-like device inside that moves up and down with the natural jostle of ocean waves. The electricity generated by the movement is then sent to shore via underwater transmission cables. The buoys also contain onboard sensors and communication tools that allow the buoy to be monitored and adjusted to maximize its effect depending on the changing behavior of the ocean waves.
Oregon Iron Works is already constructing the buoys for the Oregon project, even though Ocean Power is still waiting to be granted its license with the Federal Energy Regulation Commission to connect to the grid, the company said in a statement.
Ocean Power participated in studies and investigations in conjunction with local government agencies to evaluate whether the project would have an effect on local marine life or the Oregon crabbing and fishing industries, among other concerns. As part of the settlement agreement, Ocean Power will also participate in a management plan to continually evaluate the project's impact on the local environment and fishing industry. … Read more