Pennington, N.J., February 28, 2011 — Ocean Power Technologies, Inc., a wave energy technology company, completed the first of its new generation utility-scale PowerBuoy device, the PB150.
With a peak-rated power output of 150 kW — equivalent to the energy consumption of nearly 150 homes — the PB150 is designed for use in arrays for grid-connected power generation projects worldwide.
The development of the device, built and assembled at Invergordon, Scotland, has utilized the skills of local firms and represents a multi-million pound sterling investment in the region.
It is currently being prepared for ocean trials at a site about 33 nautical miles from Invergordon, off Scotland’s northeast coast. The sea trials are expected to commence as soon as weather conditions permit.
The company is seeking additional financing for the commercial use of the buoy after the trial phase is completed including its possible deployment at various potential sites.
A second PB150 is already under construction in the U.S. for a proposed utility-scale project in Oregon, and the Company is involved in other planned projects in Australia, Japan and Europe that may use the PB150.
The ocean trials off Scotland have been fully consented by the Scottish government. In addition, Marine Scotland, the directorate of the Scottish government responsible for regulating marine and fisheries matters, consulted with many interested parties and stakeholder groups covering areas such as local wildlife, shipping, oil & gas and fishing interests.
OPT’s PowerBuoy has a low visual profile, as most of the structure is submerged, and is designed to have a minimal environmental impact. The company has considerable experience with in-ocean performance of its PowerBuoys, including its PB40 system which has been operating off Oahu, Hawaii, since December 2009 and has subsequently been connected to the grid.
That system was developed under a multi-year project for the U.S. Navy and the PowerBuoy underwent an extensive independent environmental assessment. This resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact — the highest level of environmental assessment rating in the U.S.
In addition, last year the company signed a ground-breaking agreement with 11 US federal and state agencies and three non-governmental stakeholders for the phased development of a 1.5 MW wave power project at Reedsport, Oregon in a manner that protects ocean resources and stakeholder interests.