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Oregon's first wave energy project wins approval

Company could install 10 buoys off coast


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted the first-ever license for a wave power station in the United States, off the coast of Reedsport, Ore.

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. won federal approval to deploy 10 wave-energy buoys, which ultimately could generate enough electricity for about 1,000 homes.

Construction of the initial PowerBuoy is nearly done, and the company expects to deploy it 2.5 miles from Reedsport later this year. The PowerBuoy is being constructed by Oregon Iron Works in Milwaukie.

Construction of up to nine additional buoys could come after the first one is successfully deployed, according to an Ocean Power Technologies spokeswoman.

Ocean Power Technologies is a publicly traded company headquartered in New Jersey, with operations in the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere.

Ocean Power Technologies received funding for this project from the U.S. Department of Energy, and PNGC Power, a Portland-based electricity generation and transmission cooperative owned by several regional utilities.

The Oregon project will be the company's first actual wave-power station of this magnitude, with multiple buoys and connections to the electrical grid system.