Friday, May 29, 2009

Senator Merkley holds Oregon Wave Energy Roundtable

Newport, OR – Wave energy can help lead Oregon and America into the clean energy economy however the trade offs and unknowns of the environmental impacts, regulation and technology take a careful approach of adaptive management and stakeholder dialogue.

That was one of the conclusions reached at a roundtable conversation organized by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The discussion of how Oregon can help pioneer a clean energy economy was at the forefront of the roundatable discussion.
"Wave energy has serious potential to become a huge clean energy source for the Oregon coast and help boost the local economy," Merkley said. "But it has to be developed in partnership with local communities, and in a manner that is in harmony with the fishing industry, ocean users and coastal ecosystems."

Roundtable participants included:

Dr. George Boehlert, Professor of Marine Fisheries and Director of Hatfield Marine Science Center
Bob Eder, Vice-Chair of Newport’s Fishermen Involved in Natural Energy Committee (FINE) and fishing representative for Oregon Wave Energy Trust
Paul Klarin, Marine Affairs Coordinator, Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development
Dr. Robert Paasch of Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center
Dr. Merrick Haller of Oregon State University's Wave Energy Engineering
Robin Hartmann of Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition
Nik Furman of the Dungeness Crab Commission Pat Ashby of Tillamook People's Utility District
Ken Rhinefrank of Columbia Power Technologies
Len Bergstein of Ocean Power Technologies
Charlie Plybon Oregon Field Coordinator for Surfrider Foundation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Interest in Wave Energy Remains Strong in Northern California

Just this morning I posted a story questioning whether the rush towards wave energy was waning.

Then I read this article from the Santa Rosa-based paper The Press Democrat that describes a flurry of wave energy activity off of Northern California
PG&E, the county Water Agency and Green Wave Energy Solutions of Thousand Oaks are backing seven of the nine California wave power projects that have permits approved or pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Read the full article here.

Is the wave energy "gold rush" over?

As a result of numerous challenges ranging from the experimental nature of the technology, uncertainty about regulatory requirements and environmental consequences, and lack of available funding, wave energy developers have abandoned about 1/3 of the wave energy projects proposed along the West Coast.

Read more here.

Check out the Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) series on energy called The Switch.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PGE ends their Mendocino Project

As recently reported in the Mendo Coast Current, PG&E has decided to pull their Wave Connect project that was being planned for Fort Bragg in Mendocino County.

According to Bill Toman, PG&E's Senior Program Manager for the Renewable Resource Department, the project was pulled because engineering studies of Fort Bragg's Noyo Harbor determined that the port was insufficiently designed to operate the project from.

Toman said that the PG&E would be pulling their FERC permit in the next few weeks and issuing a formal statement on the project shortly.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anaconda harnesses wave power

A new wave energy device known as "Anaconda" is the latest idea to harness the power of the seas.

Its inventors claim the key to its success lies in its simplicity: Anaconda is little more than a length of rubber tubing filled with water.

Waves in the water create bulges along the tubing that travel along its length gathering energy.

At the end of the tube, the surge of energy drives a turbine and generates electricity.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

San Francisco Wave Energy Permit Dismissed

Things in the wave energy world are changing quickly. It was just a few months ago (February 27, 2009) that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome announced they were submitting a preliminary permit for a wave energy project off the City of San Francisco.

A few weeks ago (April 9th) FERC & MMS announced a new agreement settling their jurisdictional dispute.

As a result the City's permit gets dismissed and now they'll have to seek a new one under the new system.

Thank you for your continued interest in San Francisco's efforts to betterunderstand the ocean power potential off our coast. FYI, FERC has dismissed the City & County of San Francisco's preliminary permit application to study a wave power project off the coast, on the grounds that the MOA between FERC and MMS prohibits FERC from issuing any permits for hydrokinetic projects in the Outer Continental Shelf.

The City remains committed to studying our ocean power potential, and is currently exploring our options.


Johanna Gregory Partin
Renewable Energy Program Manager
Department of the Environment
City and County of San Francisco
Phone: (415) 355-3715