Floating Wind/Wave Energy Platform Bound for U.S.

Mon May 23, 2011 3:14am EDT

by Caleb Denison

The last we'd heard from Danish company Floating Power Plant (FPP) was a little over a year ago when it introduced its prototype Poseidon 37 power generator at the Nordic Green II conference in Menlo Park, California. We were recently reminded of the company and its interesting ocean energy device when Seattle-based outfit Principle Power revealed that it had attained $1.4 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funds to support development of a similarly-conceived ocean energy system.

Now, FPP pops back up on the radar as Oregon-based Bridgeworks Capital recently announced that it has forged the creation of a joint, U.S.-based company to be called Floating Power which is meant to commercialize the Danish company's Poseidon floating wind and wave energy device in the U.S.

Oregon-based Floating Power will reportedly have exclusive rights to the installations of the Poseidon 37 throughout the Americas & U.S. government facilities worldwide. According to Bridgeworks Capital, Oregon was chosen because of its demonstrated support of wave energy projects. A combination of factors including "optimal wave conditions, electrical grid availability, preparatory work by the Oregon Innovation Council and Oregon Wave Energy Trust, a cluster of marine universities (including Oregon State University), port infrastructure and the presence of heavy industry offer a favorable climate for commercializing the technology" were said to be what sealed the deal for the Oregon location.

Now, the Oregon company will be looking for both both funding and strategic partners to build and test a Poseidon generator somewhere along the West Coast. The Poseidon is a floating wind and wave energy device that involves wind turbines mounted to a floating structure which serves the dual purpose of supporting the turbines and harnessing energy from passing ocean waves. A Poseidon platform scaled to handle Pacific Ocean waves is expected to be able to transform 30-35 percent of the energy in those waves into electricity.

In 2008, FPP launched a roughly 121 foot testing and demonstration plant at an open sea site in the Southern part of Denmark. FPP says that the data that was gathered during this two year long, grid-connected test indicates that the Poseidon technology is stable and efficient. The company seems optimistic that the Poseidon can generate predictable energy that could address what it sees as an intermittency issue while, perhaps, approaching base load consistency.

Reprinted with permission from EarthTechling

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