Wave-energy company opts out of Oregon

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm •  Published: April 29, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A company that was planning a wave energy installation off the Oregon coast that could have powered 1,000 homes has said it will instead undertake the project in Australia.

Ocean Power Technologies is suspending the Oregon project because it lacked money to comply with unexpected regulatory requirements, the company said last month in a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Pennington, N.J., company also said it's surrendering a preliminary permit it received from the government.

Ocean Power had planned to have 10 buoys about 3 miles off Reedsport, Ore., and would use the motion of waves to generate enough electricity for about 1,000 homes.

Now it's focusing on the coast of Australia, where the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided a $66.5 million grant to help the company build and deploy a planned wave power station.

Ocean Power officials did not answer phones calls or respond to an email seeking comment.

The firm's share price tumbled 5 percent Tuesday to $2.50.

The Oregon coast has long been a favorite for wave power research. Waves are bigger on the West Coast than the East Coast by virtue of the prevailing westerly winds, and waves grow as they get farther from the equator. But such power has yet to become commercially viable.

Reenst Lesemann, CEO of Columbia Power Technologies, a wave energy firm based in a Corvallis, Ore., said the challenge has been creating a system that's affordable, reliable and environmentally acceptable.