Lockheed Martin Corp. announced Tuesday that it signed a contract to develop the world's largest wave energy project off Victoria, Australia, calling it a "significant step toward making ocean energy commercially available."
The New Ventures office of Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training Baltimore site signed the deal with Victorian Wave Partners Ltd. to develop a 62.5-megawatt peak power wave energy generation project.
The project will use a wave energy converter buoy pioneered by Ocean Power Technologies of Pennington, N.J. As the buoy moves up and down on waves, the mechanical energy drives an electrical generator, which is sent to shore through underwater cables.
The project is to be built up in three stages, with the initial phase producing about 2.5-megawatt peak power. Once completed, it is expected to produce enough energy to meet the needs of 10,000 homes.
Wave power devices draw energy from the motion of ocean waves, which is more predictable and consistent than wind and solar sources, said Lockheed Martin, the Bethesda-based defense contracting giant.
"We are applying our design and system integration expertise to commercialize promising, emerging alternative energy technologies, including ocean power," said Tim Fuhr, director of ocean energy for Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business.
Lockheed Martin will provide project management, design services for manufacturing the buoy technology, produce components of the buoys and perform system integration of the wave energy converters.