The grant – awarded by the EC Directorate responsible for new and renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and innovation – is part of a total award of €4.5M to a consortium of companies, including OPT, to deliver a PowerBuoy wave energy device to WavePort, with an innovative wave prediction capability and a “wave-by-wave” tuning system. It is anticipated that the PowerBuoy will be deployed at the Santoña site in Spain, where OPT has worked on a wave energy project under contract from Spanish utility company Iberdrola.

OPT will be responsible for the design, supply and deployment of the PowerBuoy and Underwater Substation Pod, with additional funding going to the remaining consortium members for the steel fabrication, wave-monitoring equipment, wave resource prediction research, system monitoring and project management. As well as OPT, the consortium members include the Wave Energy Centre (Portugal), Fugro Oceanor (Norway), DeGima (Spain), the University of Exeter (UK), and ISRI (UK).

OPT’s PowerBuoy has a proprietary energy conversion and control system that allows for wave-by-wave tuning of the device to optimize electrical output. The University of Exeter has expertise in the area of wave prediction and Fugro will provide wave-monitoring equipment to collect and transmit wave data to the PowerBuoy, with the aim of further increasing overall energy production.

OPT’s work under the award is conditional on the signing of a Consortium Agreement by all expected members of the Consortium, which is expected to occur over the next two months. In addition, OPT will be required to seek additional funding to enable the completion of the WavePort project.