Media Release: OPT to trail latest technology at EMEC wave energy test site

A COMPANY developing ocean-going buoys that convert wave energy into electricity will test their latest technology at EMEC, the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has signed an agreement for its 150 kilowatt PowerBuoy to undergo extensive trials at EMEC’s wave energy test site off Stromness.

The PowerBuoy PB150 is expected to be ready for deployment next year and will feed electricity into the National Grid via a sub-sea cable linked to EMEC’s onshore power distribution centre at Billia Croo.

EMEC managing director, Neil Kermode, said: “We are delighted that OPT will be putting their latest Powerbuoy through its paces at our Atlantic test site.

“This technology is exciting and will undergo full scale testing in the unrivalled conditions we provide for developers of marine renewables.

“It’s great to see such clear evidence of progress being made towards commercial scale harvesting of the clean, sustainable energy contained in the waters around us.

“We are looking forward to the Powerbuoy’s arrival on site and to working closely with OPT as they test the technology and generate electricity for the grid.”

Since 1997, OPT has been developing buoys that use on-board generators to convert the movement of ocean waves into electricity.

As the company moves towards producing larger commercial-scale machines, 40kW PowerBuoys have recently been installed off Hawaii and New Jersey.

Last year, OPT was awarded a grant by the Scottish Government towards the construction, installation and demonstration of the latest 150kW PowerBuoy at EMEC.

The company expect to deploy the PB150 in projects currently under development in Spain, south west England, France, the USA and Australia, as well as in Scotland and other countries.

OPT chief executive Mark Draper said: “We are very excited to have a berth at EMEC secured for our test programme.

“We look forward to working with EMEC and customers interested in our technology – and to deploying the PB150 and next generation Powerbuoys over the next few years.”

As well as its wave test site, EMEC also provides test facilities for tidal energy devices in fast flowing waters off the island of Eday.

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Contact: Neil Kermode
Phone: 01856 852061