A Portland-based industrial company completed the construction of a first of its kind renewable wave energy device.
Vigor announced Thursday it had completed building Ireland-based company Ocean Energy’s wave energy convertor, called OE 35 buoy.
The 826-ton buoy measures 125 feet by 59 feet with a draft of 31 feet and has a potential rate capacity of up to 1.25 megawatts in electrical power production.
The buoy is shaped like an “L” with a long open chamber that sits below the water line and a turbine above the water. As water enters the open chamber it forces air upward, which turns the turbine to generate electricity. When the water recedes, it creates a vacuum and air rushes in to fill it, keeping the turbine spinning and the cycle repeats.
Ocean Energy estimates that a 100 megawatt wave farm could power up to 18,750 American homes.
Vigor has been building wave energy devices and their components for more than a decade.
“Oregon as a state has really bought into renewable energy and bought into marine energy and have done so for the past 15 years,” Ocean Energy’s CEO John McCarthy said.
“So, they’ve really have been ahead of the curve in terms of the conception and terms of product development and helping to shape government policy to make it happen.”