Vigor to fabricate Ocean Energy's pioneering wave energy convertor
Wave energy conversion company closes deal at US Navy wave energy test site in Hawaii
At the end of January, Ireland-based Ocean Energy announced its pioneering wave energy convertor OE Buoy will be built by Portland-based Vigor Industrial shipbuilding and repair.The buoy will be deployed at the U.S. Navy's Wave Energy Test Site on the windward coast of O'ahu, Hawaii.
Wave energy has a market potential of adding more than $18 billion to Ireland's economy by 2050. The U.S. also has a substantial wave energy resource that could deliver up to 15 percent of its annual electricity demand. In Oregon, the estimated potential value to the local economy is $2.4 billion per year, with an associated 13,630 jobs, according to the Ocean Wave Energy Trust.
The $12 million project is partly funded by the U.S. 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.
The pioneering buoy design includes sustainability features. The 826-ton OE Buoy measures 125 by 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 more than 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. On average, a 100 MW wave farm can power up to 18,7506 American homes.