Irish wave energy company Ocean Energy has announced its “OE Buoy” convertor will be built by Oregon-based Vigor and deployed at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site on the windward coast of the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu in the fall of 2018.
Vigor was awarded a contract valued at $6.5 million. The total project has been valued at $12 million and has been described as the first of a kind grid scale project at the US Navy Wave Energy Test site.
The 826-ton “OE Buoy” measures 125 x 59 feet with a draft of 31 feet and has a potential rated capacity of up to 1.25 MW in electrical power production. Each deployed commercial device could reduce CO2 emissions by over 3,6005 tons annually, which for a utility- scale wave farm of 100 MW could amount to over 180,000 tons of CO2 in a full year. It is estimated that a 100 MW wave farm could power up to 18,7506 American homes.
Commenting on their partnership with Ocean Energy, Vigor CEO, Frank Foti, noted that his company has been actively engaged in building wave energy devices and their components for the past ten years -” We are thrilled to be participating in this project with Ocean Energy toward the ongoing goal of a cleaner energy future for our planet. This project represents a solid step forward in developing a commercially viable product to help move us in that critical direction.”
Ocean Energy is a portfolio company of Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government agency for the advancement of innovation, entrepreneurship and international business by Irish firms. The organization provides strategic and consultative support to Irish businesses and is also Europe’s third largest venture capital firm by deal-count.
“With rigorous testing and scaling of OE Buoy over the past ten years, today’s announcement of the device being built in Oregon represents a truly major milestone for Ocean Energy,” said John McCarthy, Ocean Energy USA LLC Chief Executive Officer. “It’s the combination of Irish innovation and American manufacturing expertise and that’s always going to produce a world-class result. We are delighted to be partnering with Vigor, a renowned US marine and industrial fabrication company, who have a track record of delivering cutting edge engineering projects. This internationally significant project will be invaluable to job creation, renewable energy generation and greenhouse gas reduction.”
The project is part-funded by the US Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), under an agreement committing the American and Irish governments to collaborating on Marine Hydrokinetic Technologies.
“SEAI invests in research and innovation to promote the development of new technologies. For a number of years we have supported Ocean Energy and are delighted to see them reach the significant milestone of full scale sea trials. It is also great to see Irish companies benefitting from continued US Ireland collaboration in sustainable energy, and using the wave energy facilities and resources to best effect.” stated Jim Gannon, CEO, SEAI.