Two and a half miles off the Oregon coast lies Finavera Renewables' latest experimental toy: a buoy that turns wave movements into electric power.
The Vancouver, B.C.-based company announced the deployment, near Newport, Or., on Thursday. The device is the biggest of its kind off the North American West Coast, the company said in a statement.
The buoy will gather data that will be used in a next-generation product that could be deployed next year. Finavera hopes it can start selling ocean power in 2010.
The increasing scarcity of fossil fuel alternatives and widespread alarm about global warming have spurred interest in renewable energy sources. This interest is compounded by recently enacted Washington and Oregon mandates that require a significant share of the states' electricity to come from renewable sources in the near future.
Finavera's water toy, known as AquaBuOY (the capitalization is Finavera's) looks like this:
SOURCE: Finavera Renewables
Finavera Renewables' AquaBuOY, an experimental device designed to convert wave motion into electricity, floats off the Oregon coast