PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Naval Facilities (NAVFAC) Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC) hosted a traditional Hawaiian Blessing for the Ocean Energy 35 (OE35) Wave Energy Converter (WEC) Buoy at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Dec. 10.
Prior to the scheduled installation and testing of the buoy off shore of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the buoy partook in a customary Hawaiian blessing. The hour-long ceremony consisted of a traditional maile lei untying and Hawaiian Blessing from Kahu (Minister) Kekoa Kordell.
For context, the 826-ton buoy measures 125 feet by 59 feet with a draft of 31 feet. Fabricated by Vigor Technologies, the oversized buoy deployed from its fabrication site in Portland, Oregon, and made its journey to the U.S. Navy Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) located in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
“The adaption of the OE35 buoy aligns with the Navy’s efforts outlined in our strategic design initiative to maximize naval shore readiness through focusing on maritime operations, product performance and energy security,” said Kail Macias, NAVFAC EXWC technical director. “The United States Navy is excited to work alongside DOE’s Water Power Program in supporting this first grid-connected test of an oscillating water column buoy at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site here in Oahu.”
Guests of the Hawaiian Blessing included Hawaii state officials, project members and other commercial partners who were instrumental in the creation of the OE35 WEC buoy. Speakers for the event included Kail Macias, NAVFAC EXWC’s technical director; John McCarthy, Ocean Energy’s chief executive officer; Timothy Ramsey, the Department of Energy’s program manager; and Kirk Lupkes, Siemens Gas & Power engineering manager.
The device is currently undergoing testing at the test site. After installation, the OE35 device will be the largest capacity wave energy device installed globally.