P.M.: Dr. Luis Vega, HINMREC
Objective: Establish and maintain a testing site for commercial wave power systems. Expand existing facilities to incorporate a wave-hub providing berthing for as many as four wave energy conversion devices in the 300 to 500 KW range.
Presently: Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has been testing a single 40 kWe buoy in 30 m depth water in Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i (KMCBH) on the windward (northeast) coast of the island of O‘ahu. The up and down motion of the buoy is used to drive a generator which is connected to shore via an undersea cable.
OPT has been collecting data since the first unit was deployed in June 2004 and has completed an extensive EA. This congressionally funded project, managed by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), is intended to demonstrate the feasibility of wave power for naval facilities worldwide.
Project: There is considerable interest in moving this project to larger systems in deeper water. This will require additional permitting, new buoy development, and the deployment of additional infrastructure. The Center will help reach these objectives by conducting oceanographic and environmental studies, and by directly supporting permitting efforts for the deep water experiments. The test site at KMCBH takes advantage of the substantial leveraging offered by the OPT and ONR investment. In addition, Center investment at this site would leverage the undersea power and instrumentation cabling to allow testing by other power providers.