The New Jersey-based company says that although final testing and assembly of its PowerBuoy wave energy device are on track, the early onset of unfavourable weather conditions posed certain risks to the project.

The company had aimed to install the PowerBuoy at a site just off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon in October 2012.

“Our partners and staff have worked very hard to enable completion of the buoy before the harsh Oregon winter sets in,” said Charles Dunleavy, CEO of OPT. “However, risk management plans for marine operations have to be sufficiently flexible to cope with changes in weather conditions, and safety concerns are paramount.”

Recent weather conditions have affected the installation of moorings, says OPT, while uncertainty over the weather has increased the risks of incurring deployment vessel standby costs. Although the PowerBuoy is designed to operate in and withstand harsh marine conditions, poor weather could affect towing stability during transit.

The PowerBuoy needs to be towed 300 miles from a dock in Portland, Oregon, to Reedsport. The device incorporates a proprietary new direct drive power take off system and will be the first of up to ten proposed devices licensed by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the grid-connected Reedsport Wave Park.

“We remain committed to developing this wave energy project, and this process will serve to enhance our future deployments,” said Dunleavy. “In light of the increased weather, safety and cost risks, it is the right decision to plan for deployment next spring.”