APB 350 Autonomous PowerBuoy, New Jersey









New Jersey



Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii – Project at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH)




From 2009 to 2011 Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. deployed its earlier prototype utility PowerBuoy® at the US Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) at Kaneohe Bay. The grid-connected PowerBuoy was launched under the Company’s program with the US Navy for ocean testing and demonstration of PowerBuoys. This PowerBuoy incorporated advanced design features in OPT’s proprietary PowerBuoy platform for improved efficiency and was the first grid-connected wave energy device in the US.

The PowerBuoy deployment site was located approximately three-quarters of a mile off the coast in 100 feet of water. Compact and modular in design, the PowerBuoy is less than 12 feet in diameter and 55 feet long. It is based on OPT's proprietary design which is primarily below the sea surface when deployed, with minimal visual impact. Deployment of the PowerBuoy was supported by Hawaiian diver and workboat subcontractors.





This project demonstrated the potential of wave power to reduce fossil fuel consumption at Navy and Marine bases around the world and complies with Executive Order 13423 which requires half of renewable energy purchases to come from new renewable sources.




Subsea and utility interconnection cables deployed and onshore station installed.
PowerBuoy interface with the electrical utility power grid certified as compliant with international standards.
Validated hydrodynamic modeling using actual measurements through wave tank and ocean testing.
Refined and ocean-tested PowerBuoy tuning software (tunes buoy performance to changing wave conditions).
Environmental Assessment (EA) resulted in a Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for up to six buoys.




The OPT wave power project at Oahu underwent an extensive environmental assessment by an independent environmental firm in accordance with the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA). This study featured evaluation of potential impacts on: the seabed, fish and benthic organisms, mammals, vegetation, and water quality, all within the sensitive ecosystems of Oahu. The project study resulted in a Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which is the highest environmental rating. The results of this study are included in a Report to Congress prepared by the US Department of Energy, titled “Potential Environmental Effects of Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies”.

Download the results of this study in a
Report to Congress prepared by the US
Department of Energy.


Download an Executive Summary of the
Environmental Assessment conducted
by the US Navy.




Oahu, Hawaii


Ocean operations completed

Total Generating Capacity:

PowerBuoy equipped with 175 kilowatt peak rated generator




Buoy Specification:

Utility PowerBuoy prototype with unique, direct-drive
Power Take-Off system


Grid-connected, in-ocean trials

Major Components:

One PowerBuoy





US Navy

Development Partner:

US Navy, Sea Engineering, Inc.



Ocean Power Technologies gratefully acknowledges the support of the personnel at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC), and Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC) for their support, technical expertise, and assistance in the development of this abundant renewable energy resource. OPT also wants to acknowledge the support of the Hawaiian Congressional delegation which wants to lower the state’s dependence on fossil fuesl and promote the use of wave energy and other renewable sources in Hawaii.

OPT and the US Navy have been jointly advancing PowerBuoy technology for a number of years. This has resulted in significant advances to the design and increased operational efficiency of the PowerBuoy.