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Ocean Power Gets License for First U.S. Wave-Energy Project

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. received permission to build the first commercial wave-power plant in the U.S.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a 35-year license for the company’s planned 1.5-megawatt power project about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon, Ocean Power said today in a statement.

The approval validates the Pennington, New Jersey-based company’s technology to convert the motion of the sea into electricity and may lead to additional commercial marine-energy projects, said Chief Executive Officer Charles Dunleavy.

“The 35-year term of the license demonstrates the commercial potential of wave power, and this will support initiatives to secure financing for the project,” he said in the statement.

The project comprises 10 of the company’s PowerBuoys tethered to the sea bottom which generate power as waves and tides move them up and down. It will generate enough power for about 1,000 homes, according to Ocean Power.

Ocean Power shares rose 6.4 percent to $2.51 at the close in New York.

The first PowerBuoy, which received funding from the U.S. Energy Department, is expected to be installed this year.

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