Finavera Renewables has deployed a 40 ton wave power converter off the coast of Newport, Oregon, as part of R&D tests for a 100MW cluster scheme planned to the south of the area and other projects elsewhere.

The 23m long buoy is the latest step in the company’s wave generation R&D programme, and its successful deployment marks a milestone for the wave industry, it said.

The buoy – named AquaBuOY 2.0 – will be tested over the next few weeks, its top 2.5m laying above the water surface. It will be powered during the tests by an onboard Pelton turbine plus solar and wind power devices.

Based on the data from the tests, Finavera’s R&D programme is expected to enable the deployment of the next generation of the AquaBuOY in 2008.

The company received a preliminary permit from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) earlier this year to help develop a 100MW wave converter cluster off the coast of Coos County, Oregon – to the south of Newport. The permit kicked off a three year project optimisation programme – separate to the Newport R&D technology trials – that Finavera hopes will lead to it applying for an operating licence.

Finavera is also developing projects to use the AquaBuOY technology in Portugal, South Africa and it was also recently awarded an investigative permit by British Columbia for a possible cluster scheme at Vancouver Island. The latter studies involve the deployment of a 1.5m diameter buoy.