Ocean Power Technologies Inc.’s business wing Victorian Wave Partners Pty Ltd ("VWP") has employed Victoria-based Professional Diving Services (“PDS”) to perform seabed surveys to determine the location of the company’s planned 62.5 megawatt (MW) peak rating wave power station offshore Portland, Victoria.
Victorian Wave Partners is a subsidiary of Ocean Power Technologies Australasia Pty Ltd (“OPTA”). OPTA is jointly owned by Ocean Power and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. Ocean Power holds an 88% stake in OPTA.
Once completed, the proposed project will generate electricity that will adequately power about 30,000 households. Ocean Power estimates the total cost of the project to be over $211.6 million (A$ 230 million), considering all three stages are completed.
The new initiative came in response to the $61.2 million (A$ 66.5 million) grant received by the company from the Commonwealth of Australia through a competitive process undertaken by the Australian Department of Resources Energy as part of its Renewable Energy Demonstration Program. This program is supervised by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The proposed project will use Ocean Power’s ground-breaking PowerBuoy technology to convert wave energy into electric power suitable for utility-scale grid applications. The project will also pay due heed to the ocean environment in the Portland region.
Wave energy-based electricity is slowly gaining acceptance with companies like Ocean Power heavily investing to tap this form of energy. This source of renewable power generation has the potential to outpace wind energy.
Ocean Power’s wave energy initiative will certainly prove beneficial given Australia’s vast and extensive coastline which experiences frequent high intensity waves. This will allow the company to substantially harness wave-based electricity thereby effectively fulfilling the rising power needs.
However, the cost of production of wave energy devices is much higher than wind and solar. This is expected to limit Ocean Power’s growth opportunities.
Other industry players currently looking good are Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy) FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCEL - Snapshot Report), Gevo Inc. (GEVO - Snapshot Report) and Hydrogenics Corporation (HYGS - Snapshot Report).
Based in Pennington, NJ, Ocean Power Technologies engages in the development and commercialization of proprietary systems that generate electricity by harnessing the renewable energy of ocean waves.