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First US wave energy station under construction

1.5MW grid-connected wave power project underway off the coast of Oregon

Ocean wave energy will be converted into useable electrical power

A pioneer grid-connected wave energy station is being built in the US. The construction is underway for the first US wave power plant with a capacity of 1.5MW in Oregon.

The Oregon wave power station is part of a project that is set to generate enough electricity to power around 1,000 homes.

US firm Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) is developing the project 2.5 miles off the coast of Reedsport in Oregon under a 35-year licence from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

OPT has nearly finished the construction of its initial PowerBuoy system that captures and converts ocean waves into electricity. The technology should be ready for deployment later this year.

After the first PowerBuoy, OPT plans to construct up to nine additional PowerBuoys and grid connection infrastructure.

Charles Dunleavy, chief executive officer of OPT, said: “The issuance of this license by FERC is an important milestone for the US wave energy industry as well as for Ocean Power Technologies. The 35-year term of the license demonstrates the commercial potential of wave power.”

The news follows after US researchers successfully converted simulated ocean wave energy into electricity using a Cycloidal Wave Energy Converter last month.