The initial phase of the project will be for OPT and the Consortium to work with the Japanese government to increase the recognition of wave power in Japanese energy policy, and to identify favourable sites for OPT wave power stations and assess their commercial prospects.

Subject to the successful identification of a project site and completion of economic assessments, the parties plan to enter into an agreement to build a demonstration plant with up to three of the OPT’s PowerBuoys units. The trial plant would provide the basis for the expected building of a commercial-scale OPT wave power station with an initial capacity of 10MW or more.

Under the anticipated agreement to build the demonstration plant, OPT will sell the equipment for the power station to the Consortium. For subsequent wave power stations, the Consortium will provide manufacturing and maintenance of the power stations and on-going plant operations, while OPT will provide its PowerBuoy technology under license and also sell certain subsystems of the plant to the Consortium.

Japan’s recently elected Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, has pledged to target a 25 percent cut in green-house gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. The government also plans to introduce a “feed in” tariff, or other financial reward, for renewable energy production as part of its intentions to boost renewable energy sources to about 10 percent of primary energy supply by 2020.