Ocean Power Technologies abandons Oregon's wave energy project

April 28, 2014 | Environment
Ocean Power Technologies: no wave energy buoys in Oregon

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has abandoned plans to install the first commercial wave energy project in the United States.

It was supposed to be a pioneering initiative off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon. Up to 10 giant energy-producing buoys would be placed in the Pacific Ocean, but the company has changed its mind.

The Oregon Wave Energy Trust, a nonprofit, state-financed group, spent $430,000 in state lottery money helping Ocean Power Technologies navigate the process of seeking a permit.

The wave energy firm has, apparently, shifted its focus to Oceania. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has granted A$66.5 million to Victorian Wave Partners - 88% owned by OPT - toward the cost of building and deploying its planned wave power station project off the coast of Australia.

The wave power station is planned to be built in three distinct stages ultimately providing a total capacity of 19 megawatts, the sufficient to fulfil the energy needs of approximately 10,000 homes.

In 2012, the Surfrider Foundation joined over a dozen agencies and stakeholder groups in signing a historic settlement agreement with Ocean Power Technologies.

The settlement agreement defined a precautionary approach to project development, including provisions for adaptive management and scientific monitoring of ecological and socioeconomic effects.

"While the Reedsport project will not be moving forward, Surfrider hopes that the settlement agreement will serve as a positive example for other renewable energy projects. We believe it represents a viable approach for engaging stakeholders and agencies, and ensuring that impacts to the nearshore environment and existing ocean uses will be minimized," the non-governmental organization tells.

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