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December 10, 2010

OPT wave power projects move forward

While most of the headlines about offshore renewable energy focus on offshore wind, there are other things out there, too. A reminder of this comes with the release by Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTT) of its financial results for the second quarter and six months ended October 31, 2010..

OPT's focus is on using its proprietary PowerBuoy technology to capture wave energy using large floating buoys anchored to the sea bed and converting the energy into electricity using innovative power take-off systems.

You can access its financial report HERE.

The company is still turning in losses, but its revenues are increasing and it is building up a record of accomplishments that include completing the first grid connection of a wave energy device in the U.S., at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy.

This connection demonstrates the ability of OPT's PowerBuoy systems to produce utility-grade, renewable energy that can be transmitted to the grid in a manner fully compliant with national and international standards. The PB40 PowerBuoy, which was deployed in December 2009, is part of OPT's ongoing program with the U.S. Navy to develop and test the Company's wave energy technology. Key program goals include demonstrating system reliability and survivability, and the successful interconnection with the grid serving MCBH.

A larger scale project is under way off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon. The company has completed construction of the steel structure for the first PB150 PowerBuoy for this project and ocean trials of the PB150 are due next year.In August 2010, OPT signed an agreement with 11 federal and state agencies and three non-governmental stakeholders to support the development of the next phase of the project - a 10-PowerBuoy, grid connected, wave energy station with a capacity of 1.5 MW. The agreement is a key step towards the granting of a license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"), which would be the first such license to be issued for a commercial-scale wave power project in the U.S.. After receipt of the FERC license and additional funding, the 10-PowerBuoy wave energy station is expected to be connected to the grid. In September 2010, OPT received a $2.4 million award from the DoE in connection with its Reedsport PB150 PowerBuoy. This is the second award to OPT by the DoE in connection with the Reedsport project following the receipt in 2008 of $2.0 million to use towards the construction of the device.

[FERC issued a notice in today's Federal Register stating that it has completed the environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed Reedsport OPT Wave Park.]

Outside the U.S., other places where OPT projects are making progress are off the coast of Scotland, where ocean trials of a PB 150 PowerBuoy are scheduled to begin in the next few days, Cornwall, U.K., and Japan, where, as we reported last month, OPT has signed a new contract with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding covering development of OPT's PowerBuoy technology for application in Japanese sea conditions.


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