Irish company announces its pioneering wave energy convertor will be built in Oregon and deployed on the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu in autumn 2018.

Irish wave energy technology company Ocean Energy announced last week that its pioneering wave energy convertor, the OE Buoy, will be built in the United States by Oregon-based marine-fabrication company Vigor, and deployed at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site on the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu in autumn 2018.  The contract value is €5.25 million out of a total project value of almost €10 million for this first of a kind grid-scale project at the Hawaiian test site.

“Building on the Irish-U.S. government MoU for collaboration on marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies’ research, Ocean Energy and its partners are demonstrating how trans-Atlantic cooperation can yield immensely productive results  -- Irish innovation coupled with U.S. engineering is providing the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site with sustainable and logistical gains and a template for future large-scale projects,” Irish Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said.

 “With rigorous testing and scaling of OE Buoy over the past 10 years, today’s announcement of the device being built in Oregon represents a truly major milestone for Ocean Energy,” said John McCarthy, Ocean Energy chief executive officer.

“It’s the combination of Irish innovation and American manufacturing expertise and that’s always going to produce a world-class result.  We are delighted to be partnering with Vigor, a renowned U.S. marine and industrial fabrication company, who have a track record of delivering cutting edge engineering projects. This internationally significant project will be invaluable to job creation, renewable energy generation and greenhouse gas reduction.”

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 The €10 million project is part-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under a 2012 agreement committing the American and Irish governments to collaborating on marine hydrokinetic technologies.

An announcement of the new collaboration was made last week at the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C., hosted by Ambassador Dan Mulhall.

“Properly developed, the ocean energy sector alone has the potential to contribute over $18 billion to our economy by 2050, sustaining thousands of jobs across the island. And the potential in the United States is equally strong, not least for coastal states such as Oregon,” Mulhall said.

“As of today, we are some distance from realizing that potential. But then, in 1958, America was quite some distance from the moon.”

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Ambassador Dan Mulhall and CEO of Ocean Energy, John McCarthy, in Washington, D.C. last week.Marty Katz