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Buoy Generates Energy from Waves

Linda Hardesty

Wave Power Energy ManageLockheed Martin signed a contract with Victorian Wave Partners to begin developing a 62.5-MW peak power wave energy generation project, which will be built off the coast of Victoria, Australia.

The project will use the PowerBuoy wave energy converter technology of Ocean Power Technologies, owner of Victorian Wave Partners. The PowerBuoy moves up and down with the rising and falling of waves. This mechanical energy drives an electrical generator, which transmits power to shore via an underwater cable. The system is electrically tuned on a wave-by-wave basis to maximize the amount of electricity produced.

Lockheed Martin says that energy from ocean waves is very predictable and that a 30-foot-tall PowerBuoy is typically quieter and  less visually obtrusive compared to 100-foot-tall wind turbines.

The wave energy project is scheduled to be built in three stages, with the first stage producing about 2.5-MW peak power.

Because the project will contribute to Australia’s goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, it has received significant grant support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

In 2013, Lockheed Martin announced it was working with Beijing-based Reignwood Group to develop an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) pilot power plant off the coast of southern China.



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