Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lockheed Martin teams with Victorian Wave for largest Wave Energy Project Ever Attempted

Wave energy gets less print than Wind, Solar, and Biodesiels combined, yet is widely considered the most reliable renewable source, as well as the source with the most potential (which might have something to do with the size of the planet's oceans).

Planned location for Lockheed Martin and VWP's
wave energy field using NJ-based OPT's Powerbuoys
Lockheed Martin's recent contract to work with Victorian Wave Partners in developing the largest wave energy project to date is encouraging, and it's also way past due for this type of investment.  To reiterate: wave power derives energy from the surface motion of the ocean.  That is not only a more reliable, and consistent source of energy than wind or solar (the never-ending rhythm of the tides is a better bet than the world's wind front patterns, obviously), but because the turbines live underwater, it's also quieter and less of an eyesore.  The enormous damage wind turbines can do to real estate value by obstructing views are a non-issue with wave energy.  

While the project is going to be established in Victoria, Australia, Lockheed Martin and VWP plan to use energy harvester technology from the New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies.  The company's PowerBuoy converters are projected to eventually generate an initial amount of 2.5 megawatts, but eventually get to a peak power phase that generates enough energy for over 10,000 homes.  As the video shows below, they're easy to establish,  can be monitored with realtime smart data, and are extremely cost-efficient:

This is an encouraging project not just for the world of renewable energy, but the prospects of American-owned energy sources as well.  If the Victoria experiment goes smoothly, and generates the projected energy, it will serve as a needed template for similar endeavors that take advantage of America's two ocean coastlines.

Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.

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