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Ocean Power, Lockheed Martin working on 19-MW wave project in Australia

Two American companies, Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. and Lockheed Martin, will be developing a 19-megawatt wave energy project in Portland, in the state of Victoria, Australia.

The Portland project is one of the largest wave energy projects announced to date, leveraging a federal grant of 66.46 million Australian dollars ($68 million) from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

The project will be developed by a special purpose Australian company, Victorian Wave Partners Pty Ltd., currently owned by Ocean Power (Australasia) Pty Ltd.

Utilizing 45 PowerBuoy units, a wave energy device developed by Ocean Power, the project will generate around 75,000 megawatt-hours of power a year for an estimated carbon dioxide emissions saving of 37,000 tons.

For the project, Lockheed Martin will assist in the design of the PowerBuoy technology and lead the production and system integration of the wave energy converters and support overall program management.

Lockheed Martin and Ocean Power have been collaborating since 2004, first on the development of an Advanced Deployable System for the U.S. Navy and most recently to design and launch utility-scale wave energy converters off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon.

The Southern coast of Australia – including most of Victoria – is considered a promising area for wave energy.

A 2010 report from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization found that the area has one of the strongest wave regimes in the world. Harnessing only 10 percent of the wave energy potential in the area would result in approximately 130 terawatt hours per year or half of Australia’s total present day electricity consumption. – EcoSeed Staff 

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