USA: DOE Awards USD 1 Million to OPT
Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (“OPT” or “the Company”) announced that it has won a $1.0 million funding award from the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) to enhance the commercial viability of its PowerBuoy® wave-energy systems through mechanical component design changes to maximize power-to-weight output ratios and reduce overall installed capital costs.
Under the award the Company will evaluate alternative designs for the PowerBuoy’s float and spar, which account for about half of the system’s mass, to optimize their geometry, materials used, power output, manufacturability, durability and handling. The process will include structural analysis, power output and load evaluations, and cost modeling using simulations as well as wave tank tests. The optimal designs will then be incorporated into the PowerBuoy product line.
“As we look toward manufacturing and deploying PowerBuoys in commercial volumes, we recognize the potential payoff in refining the efficiencies and costs associated with the heavy mechanical components,” said Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT. “We are pleased that the Department of Energy has recognized this need. One key goal of the Water Power Program of the DOE Wind and Water Power Technologies Office is to reduce the levelized cost of energy of marine hydrokinetic devices, and we are dedicated to making our PowerBuoys more efficient and economically competitive.”
The Company’s receipt of funds under the award, which was granted through a competitive Funding Opportunity Announcement process, is subject to the negotiation of a definitive contract and confirmation of cost sharing sources. OPT intends to seek third party funding to satisfy its cost sharing obligation under the DOE grant.
Press release, September 9, 2013; Image: opt