The tide is rising for another innovative source of renewable power. Ocean Power Technologies of Pennington, N.J., has filed an application for construction of a 50-megawatt (MW) wave power generation project in Oregon. The application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the first request in the United States for such a power project on a utility-scale.
The proposed OPT Wave Park will be located at Reedsport, Ore., approximately 2.5 miles offshore and about 50 meters beneath the surface. Incorporating the company’s PowerBuoys technology, the project will initially generate 2 MW of power. The full-scale, 50 MW project will come online after the initial phase.The wave energy converter consists of a vertically oriented column or cylinder that absorbs the rising and falling motion of ocean waves to cause the buoy mechanics to move freely up and down. This movement in turn drives an electric generator that creates usable on-site power or power that can be cabled away to a nearby mainland location.