Protean WEC Heads to California

Australia’s Stonehenge Metals Limited and the California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) have agreed to jointly plan and execute the deployment of a staged ocean wave energy and energy storage micro-grid project at Cal Poly Research Pier at Avila Beach.

The project is expected to be a staged deployment program, which is to commence during 2016, with the temporary deployment of the first Protean wave energy converter (WEC) in the ocean.

This first buoy deployment is the initial stage of the program to test seaworthiness and assess the environmental impact of the WEC off the coast of California.

The initial phase of the project, an addendum to the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), is expected to be funded by Stonehenge. The parties will co-operate to seek additional sources of funds in the form of grants or direct funding by Stonehenge for later stages, in addition to potential cost sharing by Cal Poly.

The project is in addition and complementary to the agreement Stonehenge already signed with Cal Poly for a joint application for USD 1.5 million of funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to fund Cal Poly’s CalWave project, in which Stonehenge acts as a team member and technology contributor.

Earlier this month, the CalWave project was selected to receive the USD 1.5 million grant from the DOE subject to negotiation of a final funding agreement. The CalWave project’s brief is to assess the feasibility of locating a National Wave Energy Test Facility offshore of California.