Irish energy company converts waves into jobs

11 Apr 2007

Irish wave energy company Wavebob is to create between 20 and 30 jobs after its deal with Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), announced yesterday at the Marine Institute in Galway.

William Dick of Wavebob told that it is currently recruiting, looking set to expand on its present number of seven staff members.

CTV is a subsidiary of Chevron USA, which sells petroleum products worldwide under brands including Texaco. This deal with CTV will involve Wavebob providing consultation on wave energy technology.

Wavebob’s flagship product is a floating buoy structure that oscillates in time with wave frequency. It is essentially a hydraulic system that generates electricity.

The prototype units of this wave energy converter are currently being tested one and a half miles out at sea off the coast of Spiddal in Galway. It is in its final stages and will be launched in June.

Using this technology Wavebob will be helping CTV for the identification and development of energy off the coast of California.

Wavebob has received funding from Enterprise Ireland as well as the Marine Institute and Sustainable Energy Ireland. It was launched in March of last year in a 37-hectare site, open to scientists and entrepreneurs interested in renewable wave energy.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said: “The technology to harness the power of the ocean is only just emerging and Ireland has the chance to become a market leader in this sector.”

By Marie Boran