Company Launches Third Navy PowerBuoy

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. of Pennington, N.J., has installed one of its PowerBuoy® wave power generation units near Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, according to a Nov. 12 press release.

This is the third unit to be deployed over the past two months at sites in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The Oahu PowerBuoy was launched under the company's ongoing program with the U.S. Navy for installation off Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay and will be connected to the Oahu power grid. The Navy has added $300,000 in funding for this program to provide for extended operation of the system.

The Oahu unit is located approximately one mile off the coast, in 100 feet of water. The system resembles an ocean-going buoy and is less than 12 feet in diameter and 55 feet long. It is based on OPT's proprietary design and is primarily below the sea surface, with minimal visual impact.

The power produced has been in accord with OPT's predictive models. The unit is continuously monitored at the company's headquarters, using real-time receipt of data via radio link and Internet-based communications from the on-board sensors. The system has the capability to amend its operating mode automatically, in reaction to changing sea states.

Previously, the OPT wave power project at Oahu underwent an extensive environmental assessment by an independent engineering company in accordance with the National Environment Policy Act. This study featured evaluation of potential impacts on the seabed; fish, organisms and mammals; vegetation; and sea quality. The study concluded that the project would have no significant impact on the environment.

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