Large-scale Ore. wave energy project is scrapped

Devan Schwartz, Oregon Public Broadcasting • Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Plans to build the country’s first big wave energy project off the Oregon coast have been abandoned by developers who said the costs were too high to justify the project.
The project, as envisioned, would have put a flotilla of 100 buoys that generate energy from the waves off the town of Reedsport, Ore. Each buoy would be as big as a school bus.The plan’s developer, Ocean Power Technologies, gave up its preliminary permit with the federal government. It was originally scheduled to launch in October 2012, but once it got delayed, the project never could get into the water.The area that was approved for the wave buoys will now be used as a conservation area. Officials said the area has lots of high-value fishing and Dungeness crab grounds.

“The technical challenges, the operational challenges, coordinating with all the stakeholders including the state and federal agencies … it’s just taking longer than OPT had predicted,” said Kevin Watkins, the Pacific Northwest representative of Ocean Power Technologies.

He said the company still will go ahead with a plan for 10 smaller buoys starting in the summer of 2015.