Wave power system operating offshore Chile

April 23, 2021
Ocean Power Technologies Inc. has deployed a PB3 PowerBuoy for Enel Green Power off the coast of Las Cruces, Chile.

Offshore staff

MONROE TOWNSHIP, New JerseyOcean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT) has deployed a PB3 PowerBuoy for Enel Green Power (EGP) off the coast of Las Cruces, Chile.

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

The PB3 PowerBuoy converts wave motion into electricity to supply continuous and autonomous power and enable secure collection and transmission of data from the sea. The autonomous offshore platform is expected to eventually power a suite of oceanographic sensors and transmit real-time environmental data to a dedicated shore station.

James Lee Stancampiano, chairman of the board of MERIC, said: “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.”

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 company 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. To complete the installation while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, OPT project engineers and marine operations technicians used remote collaboration tools to work closely with contractors on site.

Salmoboats performed all onshore preparations and acted as the company’s site representative. Louisiana-based SeaTrepid International LLC deployed the assembled PB3 PowerBuoy.

OPT will continue to monitor the operational performance of the system and provide remote diagnostics and support as needed.

The project is scheduled to run through October 2023.