GE's Technology Lending unit announced today that it is providing capital to Ocean Power Delivery, Ltd. (OPD), developer of the world's first commercial facility that will generate electricity from offshore ocean waves. The transaction, extends a loan facility of $2.6 million (GBP 1.5 million) to UK-based OPD. Additionally, GE will take an equity position as part of OPD's $22.5 million (GBP 13 million) equity raise as OPD prepares to deliver on its first commercial contract for a wave power farm.
OPD has developed the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter, which generates 750 kilowatts of electricity from offshore wave motion. The company's first order is from a Portuguese consortium, earlier post, that will install the system to generate enough electricity to meet the demands of more than 15,000 Portuguese homes. OPD expects to install and commission the first stage of the project during the summer of 2006.
GE Ecomagination has the broadest portfolio of any company in the energy market according to Fortune magazine, previous post. In the cleantech arena it has wind, solar, CO2 sequestration and hybrid electric locomotives. They have several hydrogen related projects and are very actively involved with IGCC, gas turbines and nuclear power. The only major area that they are not involved in is biofuels.
After solar power, ocean power is my favorite renewable energy technology, because it is less obstrusive than wind. Once proven ocean power should surpass wind power as the principle offshore power source. In addition to being non-obtrusive it is not quite as intermittent as wind, because the waves keep on going at all times, albeit at a fairly low intensity level at times. Admittently wind has a huge head start, can be use on land and it will be many years if ever that ocean power catches up.
Thanks to Clean Edge for the tip.