Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wave power offerings expanding

A wave power developer with a project off O'ahu has received next-generation funding to vastly expand the size of its electrical generating units.

A $1.5 million Department of Energy grant to Ocean Power Technologies will fund the expansion of the company's PowerBuoy designs from 150 kilowatts to 500 kW.

(Image: An Ocean Power Technologies PB40 PowerBuoy in Kane'ohe Bay. Credit: Ocean Power Technologies.)

Ocean Power Technologies under a Navy contract has installed a PowerBuoy in Kane'ohe Bay. For more on that project, see here. http://oceanpowertechnologies.com/projects.htm The Kane'ohe unit installed late in 2009 was the second experimental PB40 unit installed in the bay.

The PB40 unit is for testing, and does not actually deliver power to shore. By contrast, the larger units will feed electricity by cable to the power grid. The company has projects in several countries that are in various stages of development.

A BP 150 is installed off Reedsport, Oregon, and is scheduled to be joined by nine others to form the company's first commercial buoy array. Its total capacity is listed at 1.5 megawatts.

There are many designs of wave energy systems. The PowerBuoy concept is a long cylinder that floats vertically in the water, tethered to the ocean floor in 100 to 150 feet. It generates power as waves pass by the unit.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2010


  1. Hey Jan, I'm still enjoying your blog. Last year you helped me get the word out about solar power.

    Update: my power bill has now gone from $600+ last year down to $80 this past month.

    How? I still have my 18 PV panels and 2 solar water panels but I recently (finally) got a Net power Meter from Heco at no charge. In March I sent 208kWh back into the system!

    Would you be interested in doing a follow up blog post about this? I can provide new pics and a scan of my recent $80 power bill.

  2. Great news, Tony. No need for a new blog--you've done it right here!
    Solar makes great sense, given tax credits, and with net metering, it can actually be a money-maker.