In fabricating ships’ hulls and building seawalls and docks, the goal is to resist the power of the waves. Recently, however, engineers have been working on techniques to harness rather than resist the immense power of ocean waves. In the fall of this year, the Irish firm, OceanEnergy, will be installing their pioneering OE Bouy, which generates electricity from ocean waves, at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site on the windward coast of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The 826-ton OE Buoy will be fabricated by Oregon’s Vigor Marine and will measure 125 feet x 59 feet with a draft of 31 feet. The buoy has a rated capacity of up to 1.25 MW in electrical power production.
The OE Buoy has been undergoing testing off the Atlantic Coast of Ireland several years. Ocean Energy is a portfolio company of Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government agency for the advancement of innovation, entrepreneurship and international business by Irish firms.
From a press release in late January: With rigorous testing and scaling of OE Buoy over the past ten years, today’s announcement of the device being built in Oregon represents a truly major milestone for Ocean Energy,” said John McCarthy, Ocean Energy USA LLC Chief Executive Officer. “It’s the combination of Irish innovation and American manufacturing expertise and that’s always going to produce a world-class result. We are delighted to be partnering with Vigor, a renowned U.S. marine, and industrial fabrication company, who have a track record of delivering cutting-edge engineering projects. This internationally significant project will be invaluable to job creation, renewable energy generation, and greenhouse gas reduction….
The $12million project is part‐funded by the US 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.