A timelapse video shows a 38-meter long OE Buoy, with a potential rated capacity of up to 1.25MW in electrical power production, taking shape in an Oregon shipyard, where shipbuilder Vigor is doing the construction works.
Fabricated for Irish company Ocean Energy, this project was funded by the US Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
Once completed in 2019, the OE Buoy will be towed to the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site on the coast of O’ahu, in Hawaii, for testing purposes.
According to Ocean Energy, the OE Buoy will be suitable for use for range of non-traditional applications for wave energy devices, like providing power and cooling to marine-based data centers.
Also, the OE Buoy could find its purpose powering offshore fish farms, desalination plants, naval Underwater Autonomous Vehicle (AUV) power platforms, as well as supplying clean electricity for off-grid communities in remote islands.
Emerging industries such as offshore aquaculture could also benefit from wave energy as they require power at remote marine locations. Additionally, with safe drinking water shortages plaguing cities around the world, wave energy could potentially provide a highly cost-effective solution to desalination, Ocean Energy noted.