Do you live near the Ocean? Have you considered the power of the waves…. just waiting for us to tap into the clean, renewable energy!
Although I live about 300 miles from the West Coast of Oregon, we love to visit the ocean several times a year. The roar of the waves outside the window is a pleasant, soothing sound. Its also a source of green energy!
The energy from the constant motion of the waves rolling toward the beach will be harnessed in a wave energy project off the Oregon Coast. Near Reedsport, Oregon, Central Electric Cooperative is participating in a wave power pilot project using wave power buoys.
Wave power buoy technology taps into the vertical motion of waves to generate significant amounts of renewable energy. As the waves wash ashore, they push up a floating section of the buoy which acts as a vertical piston, which turns a turbine and generates power. The buoy is anchored in place, with the main portion of the device floating on top of the water.
Watch this video that explains the technology:
A single buoy – developed by Ocean Power Technology and which will be used for the Oregon Coast pilot project – can generate 150 kilowatts (kW), which is enough energy to power 150 homes. Compared to solar and wind power, wave energy is more constant and reliable. Some people believe that 40% of the world’s energy needs could be met with wave energy!
If the Oregon Coast wave energy pilot project is successful, plans for a 10-buoy, 1.5 megawatt array could supply clean, renewable energy into the local grid. It would likely be the second location in the U.S. that will use wave power to generate electricity (Hawaii is currently the only place that uses wave power).
Proponents of wave energy love the fact that waves are constant and reliable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not only that, but if this renewable energy project moves forward, a number of green jobs would be created here in Oregon for the manufacturing, installation and maintenance of the buoys.
Just maybe this new technology will be the “wave” of the future for renewable energy!