Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPTT) ("OPT" or "the Company") has announced that the Company has received a $2.6 million contract from Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. ("MES") to provide the final design and supply of key components of a PowerBuoy system intended for deployment off the coast of Japan to demonstrate its utility application in local sea conditions.
This follows work performed under a previously-announced contract for preliminary development and design work completed earlier this year. In addition, the new contract is provided under the agreement which OPT and MES announced earlier this month for their cooperation on PowerBuoy development and commercialization in Japan and six other international markets.
Under this latest contract, OPT will work with MES to finalize and test the design of the spar, the PowerBuoy's main structural element, which is to be fabricated in Japan by MES. Also, OPT will design and supply the power take-off ("PTO"), the component containing a PowerBuoy's generator and electronics systems. Optimized for Japanese wave conditions, the PowerBuoy, when completed, is expected to be suitable for ocean trials to demonstrate the potential for commercial-scale utility wave power stations in Japan. This latest contracted work is expected to be completed in March 2015, after which deployment and ocean operation are planned as a separate phase to occur soon thereafter. Other elements of the project to be supplied and managed by MES include moorings and deployment.
"We are very happy to announce this next step in our work with Mitsui to bring utility-scale wave power to Japan - which can clearly benefit from this technology," said Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT. "We value the trust that Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, our partner in Japan and now several other countries, has placed in our company and technology. Among many other benefits, we are pleased that Mitsui's world-class fabrication facilities in Japan will be used to manufacture a significant portion of the PowerBuoy system."
Commenting earlier on the OPT relationship, Mr. Hirotaka Ohashi, Deputy Director of Business Development and Innovation Hq. at MES, said "As we remember the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that had such a devastating impact on the nuclear power industry in Japan, we are working with Ocean Power Technologies to commercialize wave-based clean energy alternatives. We have several years of experience with OPT and respect the position their technology holds in the market."
The Japanese Environment Minister has said that Japan's strategy is to increase the present generating capacity of renewable energy in Japan by more than six times. The Japanese government specifically identified wave energy as a component of this policy, setting a goal of 1,500 MW in new power generation capacity by 2030 using wave and tidal power sources.