“These are environmentally sensitive areas, and we want to make sure we start in these places,” says Guggenheim.
The team’s plan is to gradually replace diesel generators with groups of energy-generating buoys. Each one consists of a horseshoe-shaped float and a central lever secured to the seafloor with a mooring line. As a wave passes, the horseshoe pivots away from the anchored lever, activating the generator and producing a burst of electricity, transferred to shore via an electric cable running through the mooring line and along the ocean floor.
A single buoy can generate an average of 20,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, replacing the burning of up to 10,000 liters of diesel per year. Since each buoy costs up to $30,000, though, the project is starting with just one or two.