Irish company Ocean Energy has announced that its pioneering wave energy convertor, the ‘OE Buoy’, will be built in the United States, and deployed at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii.
The energy converter will be built by Oregon-based marine-fabrication company Vigor.
The value of the contract is €5.25 million out of a total project value of almost €10 million for this first of a kind grid-scale project at the Hawaiian test site.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said Ocean Energy and its partners are demonstrating how transatlantic cooperation can yield immensely productive results.
"Irish innovation coupled with US engineering is providing the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site with sustainable and logistical gains and a template for future large-scale projects," he said.
CEO of Ocean Energy John McCarthy said today's announcement of the device being built in Oregon represents a major milestone for Ocean Energy, after rigorous testing and scaling of OE Buoy.
"This internationally significant project will be invaluable to job creation, renewable energy generation and greenhouse gas reduction," he said.
The United States has a substantial wave energy resource, which could deliver up to 15% of its annual electricity demand, which would represent a considerable market in electricity sales alone.
The €10 million project is part-funded by the US Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, under a 2012 agreement committing the American and Irish governments to collaborating on marine hydrokinetic technologies.