Home Science Energy Victorian wave energy project kicks off with $65.5 million

Victorian wave energy project kicks off with $65.5 million

United States wave energy technology company, Ocean Power Technologies, and Lockheed Martin have entered into a teaming agreement to develop a 19 megawatt wave-energy project in Victoria backed by partial funding of $65.5 million from the federal government’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

Located off the Victorian coast at Portland, the project will involve Lockheed Martin assisting with the design of Ocean Power Technologies' (OPT) PowerBuoy(R) technology, lead the production and system integration of the wave-energy converters and support overall program management.

A funding deed sets out the terms of the federal government’s previously announced grant, including the requirement to obtain significant additional project financing. The project is to be developed by a special purpose Australian company, Victorian Wave Partners, currently owned by Ocean Power Technologies (Australasia), with the partners assessing financing opportunities for the project and pursuing power purchase agreements with Australian industry and utilities.  

According to Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors business, the company is applying its expertise to commercialise promising, emerging alternative energy technologies.

"We see great potential in harnessing the vast power of the ocean. By working with OPT and Australian industry on this project, we will advance wave energy in Australia and globally."

Heller cites World Energy Council statistics which estimate that wave energy has the potential to produce around 2,000 terawatt hours of electricity a year, or enough power to meet 10 percent of the world's current energy needs, and in Australia, which he says has very attractive wave resources, “this percentage could be significantly higher.”

And, OPT CEO, Charles F. Dunleavy, said, Lockheed Martin's commitment to alternative energy and its engineering, production, and systems integration expertise would provide momentum to the company’s Australia initiatives, where both companies see “great potential for large-scale wave energy generation.”

“We also appreciate the Commonwealth government's continued support of this project, which we expect to create a significant number of local jobs as we develop and maintain operations over the life of the power station."

Image courtesy of bigstockphoto


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).