Photo: Participants of the hearing before New Jersey Legislature (Courtesy of OPT)

OPT gives further backing for New Jersey wave energy case

President and CEO of US-based marine energy company Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has joined experts and business leaders who showcased the benefits of wave energy for local economy at a hearing before New Jersey Legislature.

Participants of the hearing before New Jersey Legislature (Courtesy of OPT)
Participants of the hearing before New Jersey Legislature (Courtesy of OPT)

The Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources of New Jersey and its chairman Robert Karabinchak asked the guests to share their expertise and knowledge on wave energy and its outlook for growth in the state OPT calls home.

The meeting follows plans by Karabinchak to introduce new legislation initiative to promote wave energy in New Jersey, first announced during bell-ringing ceremony which marked the official entry of Swedish-Israeli wave energy company Eco Wave Power’s entry on U.S. market.

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Aside from the chief of OPT Phillip Stratmann, others providing testimony to the committee included Eco Wave Power’s CEO Inna Braverman, CalWave Power’s founder and CEO Marcus Lehmann, New Jersey League of Conservation Campaigns director Patty Cronheim, and Muhammad R. Hajj, chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering and director of the Davidson Laboratory at New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology.

To remind, Eco Wave Power and OPT signed a collaboration agreement early in 2022 to use their complementary technologies and skills to accelerate the development of wave energy projects globally.

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Along with educating the committee about the great potential of wave energy and how OPT can capture and convert that to electrical power, Stratmann also outlined challenges for companies working in this space and steps the state can take to become a leader in ocean and blue technology.

As the leader of a proudly New Jersey-based company, he specifically noted the state’s unique natural resources, rich talent pool, and location in the Northeastern US tech corridor as reasons for New Jersey ‘to invest in infrastructure to allow tech startups, especially those working in the ocean space, to grow and thrive.’

Stratmann spoke of his hope that the state would establish a central ocean technology cluster where companies and thought leaders can share ideas and collaborate on breakthrough technologies.

“This state has incredible access to old, aging infrastructure that can be revitalized and used by new technology companies to bring good paying, stable jobs to this state,” Stratmann said.

He also promoted public-private educational partnerships with the state’s university system as a means of fostering the next generation of innovation and talent.

“Establishing local partnerships would ensure continuous information exchange between industry and universities, help spur further technological innovation, and create new jobs, apprentices, and internship positions in New Jersey,” Stratmann added.