Lockheed signs deal to produce ocean wave-energy in Oz

Top U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin Corp on Tuesday said it had signed an agreement with a unit of Ocean Power Technologies to harness the motion of ocean waves to generate electricity off the coast of Victoria, Australia.

The US$206 million deal will produce the world’s largest wave energy project using power buoys designed by Ocean Power Technologies that tap energy from the surface motion of waves.

Once completed around 2018 or 2019, the project will generate 62.5 megawatts of peak power, enough to meet the needs of 10,000 homes, Lockheed said. That is about one-third the capacity of a small coal-fired power plant in the United States…

Energy from ocean waves is more predictable than wind and solar energy, and can generate electricity for more hours in the year than other alternate energy sources, Lockheed said.

The power buoys to be used in this project will rise about 30 feet out of the water, far smaller than wind turbines, which are typically 130 feet tall and have drawn public resistance. Mostly from NIMBYs

Fuhr said Lockheed had worked with Ocean Power Technologies on several smaller projects for the U.S. Department of Energy since 2004, and kicked off initial work on this project about 18 months ago. Lockheed recently signed an agreement with Victorian Wave Partners, an Australian special purpose company owned by Ocean Power, to develop the wave project…

Fuhr said he expected it to take until the 2020s before different forms of ocean energy accounted for a significant percentage of world energy production. Countries such as Australia and Britain were among the most forward leaning at the moment, although there are some U.S. projects as well, he added.

Been writing about Lockheed’s hardware for wave-based electricity for a few years. Nice to see them trying it out in the Southern Hemisphere.

Unless American voters grow sufficient brains and backbone to vote out Congressional hacks beholden to fossil fuel barons, we’ll be next-to-last in the world when it comes to alt-energy production. Just ahead of Saudi Arabia.

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