Irish wave energy company strikes deal to test converter at US Navy base

February 5th, 2018

An Irish wave energy technology company is set to partner with a US company to build and test a wave energy converter to harness the power of the ocean at a test site run by the US Navy.

Irish wave technology company, Ocean Energy, announced last week that it`s OE Buoy wave energy converter, will be built by an American company specialized in maritime services.

The converter will be put to water at the Hawaiian island of Oahu at a US Navy test site in autumn this year. The project will be partially funded by both the US Department of Energy and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

The OE Buoy has been in test for the last ten years. The device can produce 1.25 MW of energy and a converter is estimated to produce enough power to offset 4,370 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

Photo: Ocean Energy

The Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, said that the agreement between Ireland and the US for collaboration on marine technologies demonstrates that transatlantic cooperation can bring very productive results.

Ocean Energy CEO, John McCarthy, said that marine energy has the potential to meet a significant amount of the global energy demand. Mr McCarthy said the main objective of Ocean Energy is the production of about 2,000 MW in the US, which will be possible by building 1,000 converters until 2030. In the future, it is estimated that a 100 MW wave farm can generate energy to more than 47,000 homes in Ireland.

The wave energy industry is believed to hold the potential to create 15,000 jobs in Ireland by 2030, with a market capacity of more than €14 billion for Ireland`s economy by 2050.

Wave energy offers significant benefits for other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, offering a long-term and persistent supply of energy.

However, it can also impact the environment through the removal of sand dune sediments and alterations in the sedimentary flow during construction.

About the Author

Felipe Wasserstein

Felipe is studying for an MA in Journalism and Media Communications from Griffth College Dublin. He is passionate about the environment, history, and cinema.