Australia’s Wave of the Future

Lockheed Martin, OPT team up Down Under to develop world’s largest wave energy generation project

Wave Energy Lockheed Martin and Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) are teaming up to develop a 19-megawatt wave energy generation project in Victoria for the Australian government. Using OPT’s PowerBuoy wave generation system, it is the world’s largest wave energy project announced to date. Photo courtesy OPT.

The large, powerful waves off the Australian coast offer some of the world’s best surfing. Those waves may soon provide power for more than just surfers.

Wave energy has the potential to produce a significant amount of Australia’s power needs. Lockheed Martin and Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) plan to lead the way by developing a 19-megawatt wave energy generation project– the world’s largest announced to date – in Victoria for the Australian government. 

The recently signed long-term teaming agreement calls for Lockheed Martin to help OPT, a leader in wave energy development, with the design and production of its PowerBuoy technology, as well as marketing, supply, some component assembly and overall program management.

“Lockheed Martin is dedicated to commercializing new technologies within the alternative energy space and see great potential in developing ocean-based power,” said Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin. “We have a long-standing history of working with Australian industry and will continue in this tradition by working with OPT to advance wave energy for the continent.”

Lockheed Martin and OPT have an on-going relationship, including their collaboration to develop wave power systems for maritime security and for a utility-scale project in Oregon. The Victoria project will be funded in part by a $66.5 million ($65.3 million USD) grant from Australia’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism to OPT.

“This agreement with Lockheed Martin, whose commitment to alternative energy and world-class manufacturing expertise, provides momentum to our initiatives in Australia where both companies see great potential for large-scale wave energy generation,” said  Charles F. Dunleavy, OPT’s chief executive officer. “We also wish to express our appreciation to the Commonwealth Government for their continued support of this project off the coast of Portland.”

OPT's PowerBuoy wave generation system uses a "smart," ocean-going buoy to convert wave energy into low-cost, clean electricity. The waves’ rising and falling causes the buoy to move up and down. This mechanical energy drives an electrical generator, which transmits power to shore via an underwater cable. 

Posted on July 11, 2012


Speaking of the Future: Energy