Ocean Power sets Reedsport wave energy buoy deployment: spring, 2013

Ocean Power Technologies announced Thursday plans to deploy its PowerBuoy technology off the coast of Reedsport next spring.

Ocean Power Technologies announced Thursday plans to deploy its PowerBuoy technology off the coast of Reedsport next spring. 

After securing a key license from the federal government, Ocean Power Technologies announced Thursday that it will deploy its first utility-scale wave energy buoy off the coast of Reedsport next spring.

The launch date is another push back to an already delayed process, but while the company's PowerBuoy technology will be ready for deployment in October, weather conditions will push the actual launch to spring.

The wave energy device, being fabricated by Oregon Iron Works, will have to be towed about 300 miles from its Portland dry dock to its deployment site just over two miles west of Reedsport. While the buoy is designed to withstand winter wave conditions, attempting the trip to Reedsport in bad weather is another matter.

"Our partners and staff have worked very hard to enable completion of the buoy before the harsh Oregon winter sets in," said Charles Dunleavy, CEO of Ocean Power Technologies, said in a statement. "However, risk management plans for marine operations have to be sufficiently flexible to cope with changes in weather conditions, and safety concerns are paramount. As with all our PowerBuoy deployments, we will proceed carefully, and we have assessed the risks of deployment and commissioning activities during the upcoming weeks. We are not prepared to compromise the safety of crews or their vessels, or the OPT PowerBuoy system itself en route to the site and during the deployment and commissioning."

The 1.5 megawatt project, which received a license from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in August, would generate enough electricity to power about 1,000 homes.

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