U.S. grid catches its first wave of electricity in Hawaii

Ocean Power Technologies hooks its wave power buoy to a U.S. grid for the first time. With more developing wave energy projects off many American shores, such grid connections may soon be on the rise.
Written by Melissa Mahony, Contributor

A U.S. grid has gotten its first taste of wave power after Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) successfully connected its buoy that generates electricity from harnessing the energy of waves.

Last week I discussed how the Marines were going solar in Afghanistan, this week they're catching Hawaiian waves for some of their energy. The grid that the single buoy sends power to serves the U.S. Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Spawned from the Office of Naval Research, the OPT project deployed its 40-kilowatt PowerBuoy into Kaneohe Bay last December. Since then, sitting over 100 feet of seawater about three-quarters of a mile off O'ahu, the apparatus has logged 4,400 operating hours.

The Environmental Assessment, which found the system to have no significant impact on the Hawaiian bay's seabed, sea life or water quality, would allow for up to 6 buoys in the area.

For OTP's sake, this best not be the first and last U.S. grid its buoys can hook up with successfully. The company has plans for the country's first wave farm of 10 150-kilowatt buoys off the Oregon coast. And earlier this month OPT received $4,809,000 in federal funding for wave power projects, including a 500-kilowatt buoy off the New Jersey shore.

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Image: OPT
Via: Inhabit

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