West Coast Wave Collaboration Project: Getting Wet to Learn about Wave Energy Potential in Ucluelet

January 11, 2010

Ucluelet, British Columbia, CANADA: The West Coast Wave Collaboration project (WCWCP) is excited to announce the successful deployment of three wave monitoring buoys off the coast of Ucluelet, BC. The objective of this ocean energy research program is to work together with the community, government, developers and industry to better understand the wave energy climate potential off BC’s west coast.

This cutting edge project was launched in June, 2009 and has been made possible by the combination of expertise and funding of partners including the University of Victoria’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic); CanmetENERGY of Natural Resources Canada; Fred Olsen Renewables (an energy industry project developer); AXYS Technologies, Natural Power Consultants; Triton Consultants; BC Hydro, the Canadian Ocean Renewable Energy Group (OREG), Ucluth Development Corporation; the District of Ucluelet; and Black Rock Resort.

AXYS_WatchMate_Wave_Buoy_Deployed“The WCWCP team would like to thank all partners and the community for their support. We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Tuuchii, a local artist from the Ucluelet First Nation, for the artwork that our group will use to symbolize our collaborative program moving forward.” shared Erin Harlos of Natural Power Consultants.

Wave, wind, and tidal current data have already been received from the buoys located on Amphitrite Bank and will begin to be analyzed against models. “It is exciting to have this level of data to improve our understanding of the energy climate and models of the region.” commented Brad Buckham from the University of Victoria.

District of Ucluelet, Mayor Eric Russcher remarked, “We are extremely pleased that the West Coast Wave Collaboration Project (WCWCP) chose the Community of Ucluelet as its focal point.  For the past nine years the District of Ucluelet has been pursuing a Wave Energy initiative, which has long been recognized as being an ideal fit to the Ucluelet wave profile and its ready access to BC Hydro transmission lines. Our present pursuit of this green energy alternative stands to benefit greatly from the information to be provided by these buoys and we join the WCWCP team in celebrating this significant step towards the confirmation that Ucluelet is the place to showcase this exciting “new wave” in clean, renewable energy”.

Tyson Touchie President of the Ucluth Development Corporation added “We are pleased to be partners on this project, and look forward to learning more about the wave resource and potential for sustainable development opportunities”.

AXYS Technologies based in Sidney, BC adapted the WatchMate buoy specifically for this project.  Don Bryan shared: “We are proud to have our Canadian technology be a central part of this project, and to work with the Collaboration on this important data gathering initiative.”

The WCWCP will develop modeling expertise and will advance the development of wave energy projects in BC and provide critical information to wave energy device developers. Data-gathering and model development during the project will assist planning and project developers in the wave energy industry, channel wave energy research at universities, and help guide policy and program development by government and regulators.

Images of the WatchMate wave buoy are available, and summary information on the wave climate will be available soon on project partner’s websites.

Read the technical paper: Harnessing the Power of Wave Energy Converters (PDF, 746 Kb)

West Coast Wave Collaboration Project Contacts for Questions:

Brad Buckham, Ph.D
University of Victoria
bbuckham@uvic.ca
(250) 721-6035
www.iesvic.uvic.ca

Erin Harlos
Natural Power
erinh@naturalpower.com
(604) 687-5055 (102)
www.naturalpower.com

Don Bryan
AXYS Technologies
dbryan@axys.com
(250) 655-5847
www.axystechnologies.com

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AXYS Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes and maintains remote environmental data acquisition, processing and telemetry systems.  For further information contact AXYS at:  info@axys.com or www.axystechnologies.com.