Ocean Power Technologies awarded €2.2m

Ocean Power Technologies has been awarded €2.2m under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), by the EC Directorate responsible for new and renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and innovation.

The grant to OPT is part of a total award of €4.5m to a consortium of companies, including OPT, who plan to deliver a PowerBuoy wave energy device in a project called WavePort. It is anticipated that the PowerBuoy will be deployed off the coast of Santoña in Spain, where OPT has worked on a wave energy project under contract from Iberdrola, the major Spanish utility company.

OPT will be responsible for the design, supply and deployment of the PowerBuoy and Underwater Substation Pod, with additional funding going to the remaining consortium members for the steel fabrication, wave-monitoring equipment, wave resource prediction research, system monitoring and project management.

As well as OPT, the consortium members include the Wave Energy Centre in Portugal, Fugro Oceanor in Norway, DeGima in Spain, Exeter University and ISRI.

OPT’s PowerBuoy has a proprietary energy conversion and control system that allows for wave-by-wave tuning of the device to optimize electrical output. Exeter University has expertise in the area of wave prediction and Fugro will provide wave-monitoring equipment to collect and transmit wave data to the PowerBuoy, with the aim of further increasing overall energy production.

Charles F. Dunleavy, chief executive officer of Ocean Power Technologies commented: ’This award by the European Commission is a springboard for OPT to further develop our Spanish project and to demonstrate the commercial performance of the PowerBuoy’s proprietary and innovative tuning system.’

The company’s work under the award is conditional on the signing of a consortium agreement by all expected members of the Consortium, which is expected to occur over the next two months. In addition, OPT will be required to seek additional funding to enable the completion of the WavePort project.