The wave energy device by Ocean Energy Ltd, funded by the Government of Ireland through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), has arrived in Hawaii on a one-year testing cycle.
The Cork-based company will be testing its 500kW wave energy converter at the U.S. Navy Wave Energy Test Site in the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
The project involves a collaboration between SEAI and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office (DOE) who have co-funded the $12-million project with Ocean Energy Ltd.
The floating structure, which is as tall as a three-storey building and over 35 metres in length, uses wave power to turn turbines and generate electricity.
The OE Buoy has been in development for 15 years and this version will be capable of producing enough electricity to power 500 homes.
“This is the first time an Irish wave energy company has progressed to this scale. SEAI has supported Ocean Energy Ltd from small scale tank testing in Cork, to quarter scale testing in our Galway Bay test site, to this near full-scale device in Hawaii. The team are trailblazers in this emerging sector and we are very excited to see the results of the next 12 months of testing.
“Ireland has one of the best offshore renewable energy resources in the world and a sea area ten times its landmass. Success in Hawaii would give us the ability to harness our ocean wealth to generate clean, renewable electricity. The development of this offshore renewable energy resource could be a significant component to overall energy policy in Ireland. Exploiting it will enable Ireland to develop an export market in green energy, deliver jobs to the economy, enhance security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said William Walsh, CEO, SEAI.