Oregon firm inks $6.5M deal to build Irish wave device

Ocean Energy’s OE Buoy (Photo: Ocean Energy)

Oregon-based marine and industrial fabrication company Vigor has signed a contract valued at $6.5 million to build Ocean Energy’s wave energy device ahead of its deployment off Hawaii.

The Irish developer’s OE Buoy with a potential rated capacity of up to 1.25 MW in electrical power production will be deployed at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site off the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu in the fall of 2018, the companies said in a joint statement.

The device, designed around the oscillating water column principle, weighs around 826 tonnes, measuring 125 x 59 feet with a draft of 31 feet.

It is part of a $12 million project part-funded by the US Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), under an agreement committing the American and Irish governments to collaborating on marine hydrokinetic technologies.

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, said: “Building on the Irish-US government MoU for collaboration on marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies’ research, Ocean Energy and its partners are demonstrating how transatlantic cooperation can yield immensely productive results — Irish innovation coupled with US engineering is providing the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site with sustainable and logistical gains and a template for future large-scale projects.”

The device will remain on Hawaii trials for one-year, Tony Lewis, Ocean Energy’s Chief Technical Officer said earlier.

After the trials in Hawaii, Ocean Energy plans to transport the device to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Scotland for another year of testing.

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