Ocean waves off Driftwood Beach. StingRay will be deployed miles off the coast but will not be visible from the beach.
C-Power is developing the technology to harvest the power of the ocean to provide clean, renewable energy 24x7x365.
Wave energy off the coast of Oregon has the potential to supply as much power as the entire state uses every year, according to the Oregon Department of Energy. At least, one innovative company, C-Power, is working to design and deploy wave energy technology to harvest the power of ocean waves to provide clean, renewable energy to consumers and businesses in Oregon.
“Wind and solar are key parts of the solution to successfully decarbonize energy use, but alone they are not enough to achieve the level of decarbonization the world needs” said Reenst Lesemann, CEO of C-Power. “The ocean is the world’s biggest, best battery, and it is the world’s most underutilized energy resource. If the global economy is going to reach its 2035 decarbonization targets, ocean energy must join wind and solar as the world’s three primary sources of renewable energy.”
The company’s Corvallis location is developing StingRAY, a patented wave energy convertor (WEC), a system which absorbs energy from ocean waves and converts it to electrical energy that can then provide power to the electrical grid. StingRAY consists of a nacelle and float which house the generator and electronics to create the power. Pontoons and a ballast tank support the nacelle and float system. Power and data cables provide communications and transmits the power to an undersea cable. A sea floor mooring system maintains the position of the StingRay.
StingRay components showing the anticipated deployment configuration. Video by C-Power Inc.
A single StingRAY device has the capability to produce up to a megawatt of energy, enough to save about 25 metric tons of CO2, equivalent to taking about 5,000 cars off the road every year. Multiple StingRAYs can be deployed in a wave farm configuration to produce even greater amounts of energy.
Wave energy is an especially attractive proposition as it has an energy density five times higher than wind and ten times higher than photovoltaic solar panels. According to ODOE’s 2022 Biennial Energy Report “The offshore wind resource off the southern Oregon coast is among the highest quality wind resource areas in the world”. And because oceans are active twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, wave energy provides a consistent power profile and nicely complements more intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
“Ocean waves are a predictable, dense form of energy. Thanks to these traits, C-Power’s StingRAY can deliver a near-baseload source of electricity to utilities’ mainland electric grids. Using the ocean as an energy resource will help ensure higher reliability and less stress on the grid than more intermittent sources of renewable energy said Lesemann.”
C-Power designs and manufactures all the high value StingRAY components, such as the energy generator and electronics, in Oregon. Deploying StingRAY is straightforward process by which local companies using commonly available commercial ships tow the system out to its intended location and anchor the system with a single cable. The single cable system minimizes the impact on fisheries and the fishing industry. A connection is made to an underground electrical cable and the energy is transmitted to an interconnection point on shore.
One of the first StingRAYs will be deployed at PacWave, a utility scale, ocean wave energy test facility in Newport, Oregon, sometime in 2024. PacWave provides the undersea electrical cable and a land-based interconnection to the utility grid thereby powering Oregon homes and businesses.