GE Invests in Ocean Wave Energy

April 25, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Showing its continued commitment to cleaner technology, GE's Technology Lending unit announced today that it is providing capital to Ocean Power Delivery, Ltd. (OPD), developer of the world's first commercial facility that will generate electricity from offshore ocean waves. The transaction, made in conjunction with GE Energy Financial Services, extends a loan facility of $2.6 million (£1.5 million) to UK-based OPD. Additionally, GE will take an equity position as part of OPD's $22.5 million (£13 million) equity raise as OPD prepares to deliver on its first commercial contract for a wave power farm.

OPD developed the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter, which generates 750 kilowatts of electricity from offshore wave motion. The company's first order is from a Portuguese consortium that will install the system to generate enough electricity to meet the demands of more than 15,000 Portuguese homes while saving more than 60,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, compared to equivalent fossil fuel generation. OPD expects to install and commission the first stage of the project during the summer of 2006.

"Renewable energy is of global importance, and GE's commitment helps us to develop and commercialize new and improved wave energy technology," said Richard Yemm, Managing Director of OPD. "We look forward to exploring additional opportunities with GE's cleaner energy initiatives."

"This transaction is another example of GE's ongoing commitment to companies that are developing new, environmentally beneficial technologies," said GE Technology Lending's Mark Huang. James Kim of Technology Lending added, "OPD clearly is a leading innovator in the emerging field of ocean-wave energy generation, a fact validated by the company securing the world's first commercial order in the sector."