Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (OPT) has completed the first of its new generation utility-scale PowerBuoy device, the PB150. (Earlier post.) The PB150 PowerBuoy, with a peak-rated output of 150 kW, is the largest and most powerful wave power device designed by OPT to date, and is designed for use in arrays for grid-connected power generation projects.
|The PowerBuoy 150. Click to enlarge.
The OPT PowerBuoys are point absorbers, with a linear generator for a power take-off system. The PB150 is 135 feet in length, and has a maximum diameter of 36 feet near the ocean surface.
The PowerBuoy 150 is currently being prepared for ocean trials at a site approximately 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 utilization 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 US for a proposed utility-scale project in Oregon, and the Company is involved in other planned projects in Australia, Japan and Europe that may utilize the PB150.
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 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 US Navy and the PowerBuoy underwent an independent environmental assessment. This resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Last year, OPT signed an agreement with 11 US federal and state agencies and three non-governmental stakeholders for the phased development of a 1.5 megawatt wave power project at Reedsport, Oregon.