The agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, or "ARENA", is a Deed of Variation to the original Funding Deed, through which a A$66.5 million grant was previously awarded by the Commonwealth.
Among the important changes included in the new agreement are:
The incorporation of milestones for each of the three stages of the project
Acceleration of reimbursement of eligible expenses for stages one and two
An increase in the number of milestones to better support project cash flow requirements
The agreement also recognizes the role of Lockheed Martin as the lead for systems integration of the PowerBuoys and overall program management.
According to Charles F. Dunleavy, CEO of Ocean Power Technologies, the new agreement significantly improves the ability to attract investors during the early stages of the project. It also raises the prospect of manufacturing, engineering and maritime jobs in Victoria, he added.
The planned Portland wave power station has a total project value of AU $232 million and, at completion, would be the largest of its kind in the world, according to Dunleavy. With twenty-eight PowerBuoys connected to the grid by an underwater substation and a submarine cable, the plant would be capable of providing power for up to 10,000 homes.
The project is being developed by Victorian Wave Partners (VWP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ocean Power Technologies Australasia Pty Ltd ("OPTA"), an Australian company owned by Ocean Power Technologies (88%) and Woodside Energy Ltd (12%), Australia's largest independent oil and gas company. VWP was awarded the grant by the Commonwealth of Australia through a competitive process undertaken as part of the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program, which is administered by ARENA.