OPT’s PowerBuoy Deployed Offshore Chile

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (OPT) said Thursday that Enel Green Power (EGP) has deployed OPT’s PB3 PowerBuoy off the coast of Las Cruces, Chile to support the country’s transition to clean energy.

OPT’s PB3 PowerBuoy converts wave motion into electricity to supply continuous and autonomous power and enable secure collection and transmission of data from the sea. 

In September 2019, EGP purchased a PB3 PowerBuoy and associated equipment from OPT to support Chile’s Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC) Project, a hub for innovation in marine energy in Chile and internationally, OPT said Thursday.

An associated shore station was developed and supplied by OPT and assembled and installed by Chile-based Salmoboats. OPT also worked with Italy-based iSat to provide a shore-based wave radar system installed by local contractor BZ Naval.

The autonomous offshore platform will eventually power a suite of oceanographic sensors and transmit real-time environmental data to a dedicated shore station studying the potential effect of marine energy under real-world sea conditions with minimal carbon footprint, OPT said.

“We are proud of the work performed to deploy the PB3 PowerBuoy for EGP and to help bring new clean energy solutions to Chile,” said George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT. “We look forward to continuing to expand our presence in Chile and throughout South America.”

“Chile has excellent conditions in terms of marine resources to produce wave energy. This type of energy production has several advantages: it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; it is silent, and; it is not located in populated areas. The installation of this device represents great progress on the path towards the development of renewable energies in Chile,” said James Lee Stancampiano, Chairman of the Board of MERIC.

OPT originally scheduled the Chile deployment in April 2020, but international travel restrictions and operational limits on work activities within the country related to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented implementation until this year, the company said.

Salmoboats performed all onshore preparations and acted as OPT’s site representative. Louisiana-based SeaTrepid International, LLC, which has experience working in the region, deployed the assembled PB3 PowerBuoy®.

OPT said it would continue to monitor the operational performance of the PB3 PowerBuoy and provide remote diagnostics and support as needed. The project is scheduled to run through October 2023.

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