Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. UK-based subsidiary, Ocean Power Technologies, Ltd, has been awarded a £1.5 million (approximately $2.3 million) grant from the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) for the development of its next-generation 500kW PowerBuoy wave power system. In April 2010, the US Department of Energy also awarded OPT US$1.5 million towards the development of OPT’s next-generation PowerBuoy system.

OPT was the first company to commit to participate in Wave Hub, the £42 million wave energy farm for which the infrastructure is now under construction by SWRDA at Hayle, Cornwall, England. (Earlier post.)

With the new award, OPT will lead a project to accelerate the development of the technology for a larger version of its utility-scale PowerBuoy for expected deployment at the Wave Hub. The anticipated collaboration among OPT, A&P Falmouth and the Peninsula Research Institute for Marine Renewable Energy, which is a collaboration between the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth (all based in the South West of England) will contribute to the scale-up of OPT’s existing 150kW to 500kW PowerBuoy, as well as provide innovations to improve reliability and increase performance of the PowerBuoy.

Among the objectives of the project are prototype design enhancements for the PB500, with an expected output to power approximately 300 homes. Working with its partners, OPT will address additional areas of the PowerBuoy technology development program such as Design for Manufacture, materials research and site identification procedures.