LONDON - Renewable energy firm Ocean Power Technologies has won a A$66.5 million ($61 million) grant from the Australian government for a project set to be one of the first to generate power from waves on a utility scale.
Ocean Power, which is listed in both the U.S. and London, said on Friday work on the 19 megawatt project, enough to power 10,000 homes, was expected to begin by the second quarter of 2010.
The company uses buoys floating up and down to drive an electrical generator, with the power generated being transmitted onshore via an underwater cable.
The project off the coast of Victoria is being carried out in conjunction with Leighton Contractors, a unit of Australian mining contractor Leighton Holdings.
The Australian government is aiming to generate 20 percent of the country's electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and the grant awarded to Ocean Power forms part of funding totaling A$235 million for four renewable energy projects.
Ocean Power said, however, further funding would be needed to complete the wave power station.
Ocean Power's London shares, which have gained 30 percent over the last month, closed up 6 percent at 432.5 pence. It was trading up 25 percent on Nasdaq by 1706 GMT.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Paul Sandle)
($1=1.091 Australian Dollar)