First Wave Energy Project In U.S. Approved For Oregon Coast

OPB | Aug. 20, 2012 9:45 a.m. | Updated: Aug. 21, 2012 8:54 a.m.

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A commercial wave energy project planned off the coast of Reedsport is the first in the country to receive federal approval.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved Ocean Power Technologies of New Jersey to deploy 10 wave energy buoys two-and-a-half miles off the coast.

The project will cover about 30 acres of the ocean and generate enough energy to power about 1,000 homes.

Chuck Dunleavy is the CEO of Ocean Power Technologies. He says the federal license is a major milestone for his company and the wave energy industry.

“It sets the scene for the commercial roll out of wave energy in the U.S. We would hope that the initial 10 buoys would be the important first step towards the expansion of that site and that project,” says Dunleavy. “That’s something, though, that would be a next phase, and right now we’re focused on this first one.”

The company plans to deploy its first test buoy off the Oregon coast within the next month and a half. Dunleavy says the rest of the project should be up and running by early 2014.

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