Photo: Illustration/OPT's PB3 PowerBuoy (Courtesy of OPT)

OPT deploys PB3 PowerBuoy for Enel Green Power in Chile

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has deployed its PB3 PowerBuoy for Enel Green Power (EGP) off the coast of Las Cruces in Chile to support the country’s transition to clean energy.

Illustration/OPT's PB3 PowerBuoy (Courtesy of OPT)
Illustration/OPT’s PB3 PowerBuoy (Courtesy of OPT)

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

OPT’s PB3 PowerBuoy converts wave motion into clean electricity to supply continuous and autonomous power and enable collection and transmission of data from the sea.

The autonomous offshore platform will eventually power a suite of oceanographic sensors and transmit real-time environmental data to a dedicated shore station studying the potential effect of marine energy under real-world sea conditions with minimal carbon footprint.

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.

George H. Kirby, president and chief executive officer of OPT, said: “We are proud of the work performed to deploy the PB3 PowerBuoy for EGP and to help bring new clean energy solutions to Chile. We look forward to continuing to expand our presence in Chile and throughout South America”.

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

OPT 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 utilized remote collaboration tools to work closely with contractors on site.

Salmoboats performed all onshore preparations and acted as OPT’s site representative, while the Louisiana-based SeaTrepid International, which has experience working in the region, deployed the assembled PB3 PowerBuoy.

The project is scheduled to run through October 2023, and OPT will continue to monitor the operational performance of the PB3 PowerBuoy and provide remote diagnostics and support as needed, the company said.