Shares of Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OPTT) soared Tuesday following an announcement that the company has a $205.68 million deal with U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) to produce the world’s largest wave energy project offshore of Victoria, Australia.
The two companies have cooperated on projects in the past, but this latest project calls for an offshore power plant that can generate 62.5 megawatts of power when it is completed in 2018 or 2019. The first 2.5 megawatts are scheduled to be completed either this year or next.
A Lockheed spokesman said, “Ocean energy is a tremendously large, untapped resource which has global applicability. … It’s essentially clean and the fuel is free.” The Ocean Power turbines rise about 30 feet above the surface of the water, much less than the 130 feet or so that wind power turbines rise above the surface.
Ocean Power stock was up about 45% to $3.35 Tuesday, after posting a new 52-week high of $4.09. The stock’s 52-week low is $1.45. More than 12 million shares had traded hands by mid-day, compared with a daily average of less than 400,000.