A US wave energy technology firm has received a ¥70 million (£547,000) contract towards using its technology in Japanese sea conditions.
Under the agreement with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES), Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) will use its ‘PowerBuoy’ technology, which is a wave generation system that uses a “smart” floating device to capture and convert wave energy into low-cost, clean electricity.
The rising and falling of the waves offshore causes the buoy to move freely up and down. The mechanical stroking is then converted to drive an electrical generator and the generated wave power is transmitted via an underwater power cable.
OPT will work with MES to develop and work towards maximising the power capture using advanced methods in Japan’s wave conditions.
Hirotaka Ohashi, Deputy General Manager of Business Development and Innovation at MES said: “As we remember the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that had such a devastating impact on the nuclear power industry in Japan, we are working with Ocean Power Technologies to commercialise ocean-based clean energy alternatives… Working together, we look forward to bringing a series of new PowerBuoys to Japan.”
The Japanese Environment Minister recently announced the country’s new strategy to increase the current generating capacity of renewable energy by more than six times. The Government set a goal of 1,500MW in new power generation by 2030 using wave and tidal sources.