Irish company launches wave energy device in the US

A state-of-the-art wave energy device, developed by an Irish company, is being launched in the US today.

The OE 35 Buoy is a hydrokinetic wave converter that was built in Portland, Oregon and designed by Irish wave technology company Ocean Energy.

The massive three-storey-tall floating structure uses wave power to turn turbines that generate electricity.

Today it is being launched on its journey from Portland to Oahu, Hawaii where it will be moored at a US Navy test site and hooked up to the electrical grid to provide clean, renewable power for the local community.

Once 12 months of testing of the OE 35 Buoy is completed in Hawaii, Ocean Energy’s long-term plan is to build five units for deployment off the coast of Oregon.

The company says each deployed commercial device could reduce CO2 emissions by over 3,600 tonnes annually.

The Chief Executive of Ocean Energy, John McCarthy said this project is the first of its kind.

“The wave energy industry has reached a critical inflection point as we prepare to tow our device to the US Naval test site in Oahu and hook it up to the Hawaiian electricity grid – a first for the United States and a first globally for a device of this type,” he said.

The $12 million project is part-funded by the US Department of Energy and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

The Irish Government is represented at today’s launch in Oregon by the Irish Consul General Robert O’Driscoll.

“The project is a great marriage of Irish innovation and US engineering, underscoring the increasing significance of the bilateral economic relationship between Ireland and the United States,” he said.


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