Friday, March 18, 2011

Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Bill Introduced in Senate

On March 17th, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich of Alaska introduced the "Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion Act of 2011” (S. 630), which would authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) to expand its research and development on marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy. The bill calls for the creation of three testing facilities to be developed by states, universities, or non-profit entities to test marine hydrokinetic technology, and would establish a Federal Marine-Based Energy Device Verification program to certify the performance of new marine technologies. The bill would also authorize the Federal government to set up an adaptive management program and a fund to help pay for the regulatory permitting and development of new marine technologies.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oregon at the Epicenter of Wave Energy Research and Development

Oregon is rapidly developing a reputation as a leader in wave energy research and development. Resources in the state include the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Lab on the Oregon State University campus, the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, a state-funded group that's nurturing the wave energy sector and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, a joint program between OSU and Washington State University, including the Hinsdale lab.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

San Onofre Ocean Energy Project

JD Products is seeking public comments on their proposal to install a renewable ocean energy project off San Onofre State Park. The project would utilize Ocean Wave Electricity Generation (OWEG) units to convert the energy from ocean waves into electrical power. The proposed project area location is approximately 8 square nautical miles and indicated by the box shown in the map.

The Surfrider Foundation is a formal stakeholder in the permitting process representing recreational users, and is compiling comments and questions to forward to JD Products and the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission (FERC) by March 21, 2011. If you have input that you would like to contribute to this, please email these to by March 17.

You may also provide comments directly to JD Products and FERC by sending emails by March 21 to: and

There will also be a public meeting on March 31st from 12-4pm at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point (24200 Dana Point Harbor). The meeting will provide additional information the project, as well as opportunities for public input to inform JP Products's development of a Pre-Application Document (PAD).

Finally, for more information on the project, please visit the FERC website and search for docket number P-13679.

Check out a recent article from the Dana Point Times

Another Type of Renewable Ocean Energy

On February 10th, NOAA launched a website containing legal and licensing information for industries interested in developing Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) capability in the United States. The new website contains information on OTEC technology and potential environmental impacts and on NOAA’s licensing authority under the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act of 1980. It also contains information on workshops with federal, state, academic, non-government and private sector interests to explore the technological and environmental issues of commercial-scale OTEC systems.

Friday, February 11, 2011

DOE and DOI Unveil Offshore Wind Energy Strategic Plan

On February 7th, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a coordinated strategic plan for offshore wind energy production.

The joint plan, A National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, is the first interagency plan on offshore wind energy. The plan focuses on overcoming three key challenges: the relatively high cost of offshore wind energy; technical challenges surrounding installation, operations, and grid interconnection; and the lack of site data and experience with project permitting processes.

In support of this Strategic Work Plan, Secretary Chu announced three solicitations, representing up to $50.5 million over 5 years, to develop breakthrough offshore wind energy technology and to reduce specific market barriers to its deployment.

Secretary Salazar also identified four Wind Energy Areas offshore the mid-Atlantic. The areas, on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Delaware (122 square nautical miles), Maryland (207), New Jersey (417), and Virginia (165), will receive early environmental reviews that will help to lessen the time required for review, leasing and approval of offshore wind turbine facilities.

For more information, including links to the complete National Offshore Wind Strategy and fact sheet, see the DOE/DOI press release.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tidal Energy Project Moves Forward in New York

Verdant Power has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to install up to 30 tidal power turbines in the East Channel of New York's East River for a pilot project. Company officials say the turbines would transmit energy onto the national grid. Verdant hopes to begin installing the turbines by this fall.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Assessing the Environmental Effects of Tidal Turbines

A demonstration project planned for Puget Sound will be the first tidal energy project on the west coast of the United States, and the first array of large-scale turbines to feed power from ocean tides into an electrical grid.

University of Washington researchers are devising ways to site the tidal turbines and measure their environmental effects. Brian Polagye, UW research assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will present recent findings this week in an invited talk at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting in San Francisco.

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