Irish company to deploy wave energy buoy at test site off Oahu

The Irish company Ocean Energy has announced that its wave energy convertor OE Buoy will be built by Oregon-based Vigor and deployed at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) on the windward coast of O’ahu, Hawaii in the fall of 2018. The contract value is $6.5 million out of a total project value of $12 million for what is the first grid-scale project at the site. The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) is providing key research support to this effort in the form of environmental monitoring, independent wave energy conversion (WEC) device power performance and durability analysis, and critical marine logistical support.

The 826-ton OE Buoy measures 125 by 59 feet (38 by 18 meters) and has a potential rated capacity of up to 1.25MW in electrical power production. Each deployed commercial device could reduce CO2 emissions by over 3,600 tons annually, which for a utility-scale wave farm of 100MW could amount to over 180,000 tons of CO2 in a full year. It is estimated that a 100MW wave farm could power up to 18,750 American homes.

The $12 million project is part-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, under an agreement committing the American and Irish governments to collaborating on marine hydrokinetic technologies.

Read more at The Maritime Executive.