Ocean Power Research off British Columbia

BC Hydro has signed a memorandum of understanding with Energetech Australia Pty Ltd. to contribute to the development of a three to four MW ocean wave energy demonstration project on Vancouver Island as part of the 20 MW Vancouver Island Green Energy Demonstration project announced by the company in June 2001.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia 2002-03-19 [SolarAccess.com] Energetech was chosen from 10 international companies that submitted proposals to BC Hydro for developing the ocean wave energy project. BC Hydro is currently negotiating with a second ocean wave energy developer as well. To obtain detailed information on the ocean wave resource, BC Hydro has retained Sidney, B.C.-based AXYS Environmental Systems, a specialist in environmental data acquisition systems, to conduct ocean wave monitoring near Amphitrite Point off Ucluelet. “BC Hydro is pleased to be working with industry leaders like Energetech and AXYS on the Green Energy Demonstration project’s ocean wave component,” said BC Hydro’s Executive Vice-President of Generation, Gary Rodford. “Ocean wave energy is fairly new to North America, but B.C. is blessed with rich resources, and we’re proud to be breaking ground for Canada in this area.” Installations of ocean wave energy projects have been built or are under construction in a number of countries, such as Scotland, Portugal, Norway, the U.S., China, Australia, Japan and India, according to the company. Last week AXYS deployed a moored TRIAXYSTM buoy to monitor wave height, period and direction. Solar-powered, the 0.9 meter (36-inch) diameter buoy contains motion sensors, a compass and software that analyzes the data, which will be collected and reported hourly by radio telemetry for one year, to measure and confirm the energy potential of the wave resource near Ucluelet. While Ucluelet was selected as the initial monitoring site for the Vancouver Island Green Energy Demonstration project, Winter Harbour is also being considered for potential future ocean wave energy projects. “AXYS is proud to be working with BC Hydro and excited to be applying our technology in support of the Vancouver Island Green Energy Demonstration project,” said AXYS Director of Sales and Marketing, Tom Vandall. Energetech utilizes oscillating water column technology to generate electricity from ocean waves. The company’s design features a parabolic wall to focus incoming waves, maximizing wave height, and a specially designed turbine to increase generation efficiency. “Energetech is very pleased to be part of BC Hydro’s initiative on Vancouver Island. We’re impressed by the integrated approach to green energy development being taken by this project,” said CEO of Energetech, Tom Denniss. BC Hydro’s decision to develop ocean wave energy on Vancouver Island resulted from its study into potential green energy resources for British Columbia. The first part of the study, completed early in 2001, focused on Vancouver Island and identified strong potential wind, micro-hydro and ocean wave resources. In addition to ocean wave energy, the Green Energy Demonstration project will bring approximately 10 MW of wind and 6 to 8 MW of micro-hydro energy generation online in 2003 and 2004. Vancouver Island was selected for the project because new energy and capacity resources are required to meet growing energy demand on the Island. Vancouver Island currently relies on the mainland for 80 percent of its electricity.
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