Renewable Energy Development In Portland - Vigor Shipyard

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Renewable Energy Development In Portland

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Renewable Energy Development In Portland - Vigor Shipyard
by Jack Kerfoot

Did you know that Portland is home to a leading developer of wave energy? Recently, a team of 55 workers at the Swann Island Shipyard in Portland[1]completed a clean, green energy generating buoy. The innovative, mechanical wave energy buoy weighs 826 tons.


As a renewable energy advocate, I wanted to learn as much as I could about a prototype, that could deliver clean, green energy to Portland. Last week, Alan Sprott, a Vice President at Vigor Industrial was kind enough to explain the potential of the company's mechanical wave energy buoy project.


Oh Boy, did I learn a lot about this brilliant engineering project! The "OE Buoy" is over 100 feet tall and was commissioned by Ocean Energy, a company in headquartered in Cork, Republic of Ireland. The buoy is currently being field tested in Hawaii, and generates up to 1.25 megawatts of clean, green energy. A few hundred of these type of buoys off Oregon's coast could generate enough power for every home in Portland![2]


Employing more than 1,000 people at its shipyard, Vigor is a very important part of Portland's economy. However, I was disappointed-although not that surprised-to learn that Vigor's perspectives have in the past been ignored by our city and state governments. Alan was able to point to multiple wave power projects over the years that haven't gotten little to no interest from our elected leaders in Portland or Salem.


Wave, wind, solar and geothermal energy systems can all be used to move Portland from fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) to 100% clean, green renewable energy. It is time we elected a Portland City Council that will not just pay lip service to our environment but will develop a plan to achieve 100% renewable energy, and measure and communicate our progress annually.


[1] You can find a press release about the project on Vigor's website, here: https://vigor.net/news-press/wave-energy-conversion-buoy-nears-completion.


[2] You can find these and other details about the prototype buoy at Ocean Energy's website, here: https://oceanenergy.ie/oe-usa-press-release/


This article was reprinted with permission from Jack Kerfoot. Jack is a candidate for Portland Commissioner.


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