Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTT; OPT.L) announced that it has completed the first-ever grid connection of a wave energy device in the United States at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), in conjunction with the US Navy.
This connection demonstrated the ability of OPT’s PowerBuoy® systems to produce utility-grade, renewable energy that can be transmitted to the grid.
The PB40 PowerBuoy is part of OPT’s ongoing program with the US Navy to develop and test the Company’s PowerBuoy wave energy technology. The project began as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
The PowerBuoy was deployed on December 14, 2009 approximately three-quarters of a mile off the coast of Oahu in water depth of 100 feet. To date, the PowerBuoy has operated and produced power from over 3 million power take-off cycles and 4,400 hours of operation.
The PowerBuoy grid interface was certified in 2007 by an independent laboratory, Intertek Testing Services, as compliant with national and international standards, including the safety standards UL1741 and IEEE1547, and also bears the ETL Listed mark.
The system has numerous on-board sensors that monitor a variety of system performance variables, external conditions and lifecycle parameters. Data collected by on-board computers is transmitted to a shore-based facility via a fiber optic cable embedded in the submarine power transmission cable and then transmitted via the Internet to OPT’s facility in Pennington, New Jersey. This information has provided a strong correlation between the ‘actual’ and ‘expected’ system performance, which serves to confirm OPT’s models for its higher output PowerBuoys, including the PB150, OPT said.
The wave power project at MCBH underwent an environmental assessment by an independent environmental firm in accordance with the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) that resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).
In August, OPT signed agreements with 11 federal and state agencies and three non-governmental stakeholders clearing the way for its utility-scale wave power project at Reedsport, Oregon.
Also in August, Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), announced that its prototype tidal power unit has successfully generated grid-compatible power from tidal currents at its Cobscook Bay site in Eastport, Maine.
And in September, both companies received several million dollars in research funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.