Wave power in the United States

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Harnessing the power of the oceans Wave power - geograph.org.uk - 711806.jpg
Harnessing the power of the oceans

Wave power in the United States is under development in several locations off the east and west coasts as well as Hawaii. It has moved beyond the research phase and is producing reliable energy for the Grid. Its use to-date has been for situations where other forms of energy production are not economically viable and as such, the power output is currently modest. But major installations are planned to come on-line within the next few years.



LEAP Autonomous PowerBuoy, New Jersey

Ocean Power Technologies has successfully operated a system off New Jersey, designed and manufactured by Ocean Power Technologies, under the US Navy's Littoral Expeditionary Autonomous PowerBuoy (LEAP) program for coastal security and maritime surveillance.

Ocean Power Technologies (O.P.T.) is a US-owned renewable energy company, providing power generation devices, services and related equipment for the extraction of energy from ocean waves. The company's PowerBuoy technology is scalable to hundreds of megawatts and the generated energy from Wave Power is supplied to the grid via submarine cables. Projects are now underway around the world.

Coos Bay, Oregon

Ocean Power Technologies has proposed a utility-scale, commercial wave park in North America at Coos Bay, Oregon. The planned size of this park is up to 100 megawatts, and it will be the largest wave energy project in the world when completed.

Coos Bay, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Coos Bay is a city located in Coos County, Oregon, United States, where the Coos River enters Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean. The city borders the city of North Bend, and together they are often referred to as one entity called either Coos Bay-North Bend or Oregon's Bay Area. Coos Bay's population as of the 2010 census was 15,967 residents, making it the most populous city on the Oregon Coast.

Reedsport, Oregon

Ocean Power Technologies is developing a commercial wave park on the west coast of the United States located 2.5 miles offshore near Reedsport, Oregon. The first phase of this project is for ten power generation systems (buoys), or 1.5 megawatts.

Reedsport, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Reedsport is a city in Douglas County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,154.

Oahu, Hawaii

From 2009 to 2011, Ocean Power Technologies ocean-tested its wave power generation system at the US Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) at Kaneohe Bay. The Oahu system was launched under the Company's program with the US Navy for ocean testing and demonstration of such systems, including connection to the Oahu grid.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

The principles demonstrated with the earlier prototype power generation buoys deployed and tested off the coast of Atlantic City were integrated into the designs of the power generation buoys for Hawaii and Spain.

See also

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Oahu The third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and site of the state capital Honolulu

Oʻahu, known as "The Gathering Place", is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people—about two-thirds of the population of the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. The state capital, Honolulu, is on Oʻahu's southeast coast. Including small associated islands such as Ford Island and the islands in Kāneʻohe Bay and off the eastern (windward) coast, its area is 596.7 square miles (1,545.4 km2), making it the 20th-largest island in the United States.

Marine Corps Base Hawaii Facility in City & County of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), formerly Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay and originally Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay, is a U.S. Marine Corps facility and air station located on the Mokapu Peninsula of windward O'ahu in the City & County of Honolulu. For census purposes, the area is demarcated as the Kaneohe Station census-designated place, with a population at the 2010 Census of 9,517. Marine Corps Base Hawaii is home to Marines, sailors, their family members and civilian employees. The United States Marine Corps operates a 7,800-foot (2,400 m) runway at the base.

Wave power Transport of energy by wind waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work

Wave power is the capture of energy of wind waves to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or pumping water. A machine that exploits wave power is a wave energy converter (WEC).

The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter was a technology that used the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The machine was made up of connected sections which flex and bend as waves pass; it is this motion which is used to generate electricity.

Wave farm The installment of one or several wave power devices in one place

A wave farm – or wave power farm or wave energy park – is a collection of machines in the same location and used for the generation of wave power electricity. Wave farms can be either offshore or nearshore, with the former the most promising for the production of large quantities of electricity for the grid. The first wave farm was constructed in Portugal, the Aguçadoura Wave Farm, consisting of three Pelamis machines. The world's largest is planned for Scotland.

Hawaiian Electric Industries

Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. is the largest supplier of electricity in the state of Hawaii, supplying power to 95% of Hawaii's population through its electric utilities: Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Hawai'i Electric Light Company, Inc. and Maui Electric Company, Limited. In addition, HEI owns a financial institution serving Hawaii, American Savings Bank.


CETO is a wave-energy technology that converts kinetic energy from ocean swell into electrical power and directly desalinates freshwater through reverse osmosis. The technology was developed and tested onshore and offshore in Fremantle, Western Australia. In early 2015 a CETO 5 production installation was commissioned and connected to the grid. As of January 2016 all the electricity generated is being purchased to contribute towards the power requirements of HMAS Stirling naval base at Garden Island, Western Australia. Some of the energy will also be used directly to desalinate water.

Solar power in the United States

Solar power in the United States includes utility-scale solar power plants as well as local distributed generation, mostly from rooftop photovoltaics. As of the end of 2017, the United States had over 50 gigawatts (GW) of installed photovoltaic capacity. In the twelve months through December 2018, utility scale solar power generated 66.6 terawatt-hours (TWh), 1.66% of total U.S. electricity. During the same time period total solar generation, including estimated small scale Generation photovoltaic generation, was 96.1 TWh, 2.30% of total U.S. electricity. In terms of total cumulative installed capacity, by year end 2017 the United States ranked 2nd in the world behind China. In 2016, 39% of all new electricity generation capacity in the country came from solar, more than any other source and ahead of natural gas (29%). By 2015, solar employment had overtaken oil and gas as well as coal employment in the United States. In 2016, more than 260,000 Americans were employed in the solar industry.

Floating wind turbine offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure

A floating wind turbine is an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. Floating wind farms have the potential to significantly increase the sea area available for offshore wind farms, especially in countries with limited shallow waters, such as Japan. Locating wind farms farther offshore can also reduce visual pollution, provide better accommodation for fishing and shipping lanes, and reach stronger and more consistent winds.

Pelamis Wave Power designed and manufactured the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter – a technology that uses the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The company was established in 1998 and had offices and fabrication facilities in Leith Docks, Edinburgh, Scotland. It went into administration in November 2014.

Wave power in Australia is being developed as the country has a long and largely deep-water coastline. It is one of several regions of the world where wave power projects are being considered.


Evopod is a unique tidal energy device being developed by a UK-based company Oceanflow Energy Ltd for generating electricity from tidal streams and ocean currents. It can operate in exposed deep water sites where severe wind and waves also make up the environment.

Marine energy or marine power refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy, or energy in motion. Some of this energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes, transport and industries.

The Lysekil project is an ongoing wave power project which is run by the Centre for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Solar power in Hawaii

The energy sector in Hawaii has rapidly adopted solar power due to the high costs of electricity, and good solar resources, and has one of the highest per capita rates of solar power in the United States. Hawaii's imported energy costs, mostly for imported petroleum and coal, are three times higher, and will soon be close to four times higher than the mainland, so Hawaii has motivation to become one of the highest users of solar energy. Hawaii was the first state in the United States to reach grid parity for photovoltaics. Its tropical location provides abundant sun energy.

Ocean Renewable Power Company

Ocean Renewable Power Company is a marine renewable energy company based in Portland, Maine. The company develops technologies which generate electricity from tidal, river, and ocean currents. The turbines are a cross-flow design in the helix shape of DNA with the axis of rotation perpendicular to the flow of water and work on the same principle as water wheels. As the tide comes and goes, the turbine foils spin in the same direction producing mechanical power that a permanent magnet generator converts to electricity and then sends to the electrical grid via an underwater power cable and onshore power station. The TidGen® power system and RivGen® power system are the company's trademarked systems.

Energy in Hawaii

Energy in Hawaii is complicated by the state's isolated location and lack of fossil fuel resources. The state relies heavily on imports of petroleum and coal for power although renewable energy is increasing. Hawaii is the state with the highest share of petroleum use in the United States, with about 62% of electricity coming from oil in 2017. As of 2016, 26.6% of electricity was from renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal.

Ocean Power Technologies Australasia Pty Ltd (OPTA) is an Australian company, a subsidiary of Ocean Power Technologies Inc (OPT) of the United States, a renewable energy company, providing power generation devices, services and related equipment for the extraction of energy from ocean waves.

Azura (wave power device)

Azura is a wave power device currently being tested in Hawaii. It is connected to the municipal grid providing electricity to Hawaii. According to the United States Department of Energy, this is the first time that a wave power generator has been officially verified to be supplying energy to a power grid in North America. This has been verified by the University of Hawaii. The device can generate 20 kilowatts of power.