US DoE Awards Further Funding
Ocean Power Technologies, Inc (OPT) has won two new funding awards totalling $4.8M from the US Department of Energy (DoE). The company plans to use the first award, for $2.4M, in connection with the construction and deployment of one of its PB150 PowerBuoys at Reedsport, Oregon, as part of the first proposed commercial wave power project in the US. Deployment of the 150kW peak-rated PB150, which is currently under construction, is expected to occur in 2011. This is the second award to OPT by the DoE in connection with the Reedsport project. In 2008, OPT received $2M to use towards the construction of the PB150 PowerBuoy.
In August 2010, the Oregon project received a major boost when the Company signed an agreement with 14 stakeholders to support the responsible, phased development at the Reedsport site of a 10-PowerBuoy wave power station with a peak generating capacity of 1.5MW.
This agreement represents a key step towards the granting of a license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The second award, also for $2.4M, is intended to be used for the design and development of OPT's next generation 500kW PowerBuoy wave power system, the PB500. The technology development will focus on increasing the PB500's power extraction efficiency, implementing a "Design-for-Manufacture" approach and reducing maintenance costs, all of which aim to achieve lower installed capital and energy costs and make wave power more competitive with fossil fuels. This award follows an initial $1.5M award announced in April 2010, taking the total DoE funding in connection with the PB500 to $3.9M.
"These awards are another significant step in a global drive to make wave power a commercial reality," said Charles F. Dunleavy, OPT's Chief Executive Officer. "OPT's programs of work under these awards are in accord with the Department of Energy's objectives to help develop innovative technologies that contribute to the clean energy economy."
Issued to OPT under a competitive process, the awards were announced by the US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, to accelerate the technological and commercial readiness of emerging marine and hydrokinetic technologies, which seek to generate renewable electricity from the nation's oceans and free-flowing rivers and streams.
OPT's receipt of funds under these awards is subject to the negotiation of definitive contracts and confirmation of cost sharing sources. OPT intends to seek third party funding to satisfy its cost sharing obligations under the DoE grants.
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