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.

Read More

Friday, December 10, 2010

Largest U.S. Wind Turbine Project Proposed Off Rhode Island Coast

Deepwater Wind has submitted an application to the Department of the Interior for a 200-turbine, 1,000-megawatt offshore wind energy project with a goal of starting construction in 2014. The project is estimated to cost between $4 and $5 billion and would include an undersea transmission network to send power to Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

More info.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tidal Energy in WA, ME, AK

For eons, powerful tides have raged through Puget Sound, ripping along at 11 feet per second at their peak, predictable as the phases of the moon. Three years from now, a local utility hopes to begin converting a portion of that raw energy to electricity, part of a growing effort to harness the tides to power homes and businesses miles from the smell of salt air.

The Snohomish County Public Utility District's pilot project is small - two turbines with 500 kilowatts of total capacity and an average output of 50 kilowatts - hardly a panacea for all that ails the United States' energy portfolio. But tidal power is garnering increasing attention as a niche supplier of renewable alternative energy in Washington, Maine and Alaska. The tides, some say, have the potential to light five percent of the nation's homes - nearly nine gigawatts of generating power.

More info.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Atlantic Wind Connection

On October 11th, Google signed an agreement to invest in the development of a backbone transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast that offers a solid financial return while helping to accelerate offshore wind development—so it’s both good business and good for the environment. The new project can enable the creation of thousands of jobs, improve consumer access to clean energy sources and increase the reliability of the Mid-Atlantic region's existing power grid.

When built out, the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines. That’s equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.Atlantic Wind Connection.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

PG&E Suspends Humboldt WaveConnect Project

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced it will be suspending permitting efforts on the Humboldt WaveConnect Project. The decision was made after several major challenges made the project unviable at its proposed configuration and location. In 2007, PG&E began examining the feasibility of using the power of ocean waves to create clean, renewable electricity to meet the state’s goals for energy. The Humboldt site was selected for a pilot project that would allow for the testing of several types of hydrokinetic technologies. Over time, however, significant permitting challenges emerged and costs of the project were higher than projected. Members of the Humboldt Chapter of Surfrider Foundation participated extensively in the stakeholder working group process to identify and minimize potential impacts to existing uses and the natural environment. The Chapter had supported the draft license application submitted by PG&E to the Federal Energy & Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tidal Energy Advances in New York

A couple of months ago we reported on a tidal energy project in Maine.

MSNBC now has a video feature on Verdant Power's tidal energy project in New York's East River.

Watch the video report.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Renewable Ocean Energy & the Marine Environment Conference

On November 3-5, the Renewable Ocean Energy & the Marine Environment Conference will be held in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This conference will bring together researchers, developers, federal and state agencies, industry, and scientists to explore cutting-edge science and technology to identify gaps in the current knowledge of the environmental impacts of renewable ocean energy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cape Wind Project Moves Forward

The Department of Interior and Cape Wind Associates have signed the nation’s first lease for commercial wind energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The area offered in the lease is comprised of 25 square miles in Nantucket Sound offshore Massachusetts. The 130 planned wind turbines are expected to produce enough energy to power more than 200,000 homes in Massachusetts. The site of the project on Horseshoe Shoals lies outside shipping channels, ferry routes and flight paths but is adjacent to power-consuming coastal communities. The Cape Wind energy project would be the first wind farm in U.S. waters, potentially generating enough power to meet 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island combined. The 28-year lease for the area off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. will cost the company $88,278 in annual rent prior to production, and a 2 to 7 percent operating fee during production. “This is the beginning of a new era for our Nation in offshore energy production,” Secretary Salazar said in a speech to the American Wind Energy Association in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he signed the lease. “Responsibly developing this clean, renewable, domestic resource will stimulate investment in cutting-edge technology, create good, solid jobs for American workers, and promote our nation’s competitiveness, security, and prosperity.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act Introduced in House

On September 29th, Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Brian Baird (D-WA) introduced the “Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion Act” (H.R. 6344), which would establish a series of competitive demonstration grants to support the research, demonstration, and commercial application of marine hydrokinetic renewable energy technologies, and identify ways to address potential environmental impacts. The bill would also expand an existing Department of Energy program to create test facilities that will demonstrate a variety of technologies at a range of scales to evaluate the viability of each technology.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wave-energy project advances in Hawaii

A buoy off the Windward Oahu coast that generates electricity using sea motion has been connected to the island's electrical grid, according to the company overseeing the project. New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies Inc. said it was the first-ever grid connection of a wave energy device in the United States. The buoy was deployed in December in about 100 feet of water about three-quarters of a mile off of Marine Corps Base Hawaii in conjunction with the Navy.

Read More

More Details

Monday, September 27, 2010

FERC cancels permits in San Luis Obispo & Mendocino

On September 23, the Federal Energy & Regulatory Commission (FERC) canceled preliminary permits for wave energy projects off San Luis Obispo, CA and Mendocino, CA. Back in May of 2009, FERC had issued the permits to Green Wave Energy Solutions to study the feasibility of wave energy development in each of these areas. However, the applicant had failed to comply with several timeline requirements, including the filing of progress reports and preliminary application documents (PAD). In addition, stakeholder groups had expressed concern about the lack of community outreach by Green Wave during project planning. Among these were the San Luis Bay Chapter and Mendocino Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, both of which filed motions to intervene at the outset of the permitting process. For more information, please visit and search under ‘Hydropower’ for P-13053 and P-13053.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens Off English Coast

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall said the 100 turbines are expected to generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes.

The 380ft (115m) tall turbines are spread over an area of more than 35 sq km and are visible from the shore on a clear day.

More info

Friday, September 17, 2010

West Coast Wave Energy Framework Open for Public Comment

Pacific Energy Ventures, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is collaborating with stakeholders to develop a Planning & Assessment Framework that outlines environmental information relevant to developing and permitting wave energy projects offshore California, Oregon, and Washington. The project is now focused on collecting stakeholder input on options to address key data gaps. A survey designed to present the draft options and collect stakeholder input is available now through October 7, 2010. Once stakeholder input is collected, the project team will summarize the feedback in a final report to be shared with the DOE and all interested parties.

Click on this link to participate in the survey.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tidal Energy Plant Officially Unveiled in Maine

Ocean Renewable Power Company recently installed a small tidal power generator in Cobscook Bay, Maine, which they say is the largest tidal power plant ever installed in U.S. waters. A generator uses the power from turbines hanging from a barge to charge large battery packs, which are ferried daily by skiff to the Coast Guard station in Eastport. The battery packs provide almost 20 kilowatt-hours of power daily, about half of the energy needs of the 41-foot search and rescue boat docked there.

Admittedly, it is a small amount of power; it would take 25 such turbines to equal the rated capacity of just one of the wind turbines recently installed on the nearby island of Vinalhaven. The project cost $4 million, including more than a million dollars of federal and state support. Ocean Renewable Power Company is using the data it is gathering to fine-tune a larger installation in Cobscook Bay, planned for 2011. That system, according to the company, should generate enough electricity to power 50 or 60 homes.

More info

Monday, August 2, 2010

Surfrider Foundation Signs Historic Settlement Agreement on Reedsport, Oregon Wave Energy Project

The Surfrider Foundation today joined over a dozen government agencies, ocean stakeholder groups, and environmental organizations in signing a historic settlement agreement with Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) in support of the construction and operation of the Reedsport OPT Wave Park.

The Reedsport OPT Wave Park is expected to be the first commercial-scale wave energy project in the United States, pending licensing from the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission (FERC). Phases I and II of the project will consist of ten PowerBuoys installed 2.5 miles off the coast of Reedsport, OR.

The parties to the settlement agreement participated in a three-year process to develop consensus on aspects of project design, required monitoring, and contingencies for adaptive management. The Surfrider Foundation has served as a formal representative of recreational and environmental interests throughout the process.

“We believe this represents a really good approach for the development of wave energy technology,” said Pete Stauffer, Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Ecosystem Program Manager. “Incorporating good science and meaningful stakeholder involvement in the planning and management of wave energy projects is in the best interests of nearshore ecosystems and coastal communities.”

The Reedsport settlement agreement defines a precautionary approach to development of the Wave Park that is intended to minimize impacts to the nearshore environment and existing ocean uses such as recreation and fishing. An adaptive management program that includes monitoring of ecological and socioeconomic effects will inform the management and further build-out of the project.

The Surfrider Foundation recognizes that technologies utilizing ocean waves, tides, currents and wind may offer important benefits as renewable sources of energy that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. They may also help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and the dangerous practice of offshore oil drilling.

The Surfrider Foundation has developed a policy statement on renewable ocean energy, which includes a set of principles to consider during the planning or evaluation of any proposed project. Employing these principles may help reduce impacts to ocean recreation, nearshore ecology, coastal processes, public safety, aesthetics, and fishing access.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hydrokinetic Recreation Guide - Review and Comment

The Department of Energy, National Park Service, and Hydropower Reform Coalition invite you to review Hydrokinetic Energy Projects & Recreation: A Guide to Assessing Impacts, a report about evaluating impacts of new hydropower technologies (i.e. tidal, in-river current, and wave) on recreation. They are soliciting comments from many stakeholders, including recreation users, developers, and regulators. Comments should focus on substantive issues and other suggestions that will improve the usefulness of the Guide.

Comments should be submitted to by August 31, 2010.

More information and links to the draft document sections can be found here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Solana Beach Firm Developing Wave Generator for University

American Wave Machines Inc. in Solana Beach, California is developing a wave generator for the Ocean Energy Research Lab at the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) for the ultimate purpose of making ocean waves a renewable energy source.

Unlike wave generators for the amusement industry, The wave generator for the university will be the central component of a large wave tank system. It will be capable of generating waves with controllable wave heights and frequencies in a tank measuring fifteen meters long, one meter wide, and one meter deep. Upon completion, the wave tank will become a primary facility for ocean energy research at UTB.

Researchers at the university said that, although ocean waves hold enormous energy, that energy is under-utilized because there’s no reliable and cost-effective way of harnessing it. The Ocean Energy Research Lab is currently pursuing a novel technology to enable a corrosion-free, maintenance-free and hurricane-proof wave energy converter. The AWM wave generator will be used to simulate a typical ocean environment in the lab for testing bench-scale prototype wave energy converters.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salazar Signs Agreement with 10 East Coast Governors to Establish Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and the governors of 10 East Coast states signed a Memorandum of Understanding on June 8 that formally establishes an Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to promote the efficient, orderly, and responsible development of wind resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Salazar announced the agreement at Capitol Hill Oceans Week 2010, where he also announced the establishment of a new regional renewable energy office to coordinate and appropriately expedite the development of wind, solar and other renewable energy resources on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.

Several wind energy projects for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf have been proposed for East Coast states, positioning the region to tap into the enormous potential of wind power in the U.S. Developing this resource could create thousands of manufacturing, construction and operations jobs and displace older, inefficient fossil-fueled generating plants, helping significantly to combat climate change.

“Renewable energy resources hold great economic promise,” Salazar said. “By one estimate, if our nation fully pursues its potential for wind energy on land and offshore, wind can generate as much as 20 percent of our electricity by 2030 and create a quarter-million jobs in the process.”


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Interest in Wave Energy Increasing

Although we're still years away from getting a significant amount of clean, renewable energy from waves, a recent article Wave Power Could Reduce Dependency on Oil that appeared in U.S. News and World report is an indication that there is increasing interest in wave and tidal energy.

Specifics and success stories are still hard to find. The article mentions several competing technologies and projects in Europe, including the Pelamis project in Portugal that was apparently abandoned in 2009, Aquamarine Power's Oyster, which is currently being tested in the waters off Scotland, and Checkmate Seaenergy's Anaconda, which has yet to be tested in the real world.

Commercialization may be closer in the U.S. In California, PG & E is planning to test up to four different technologies with its Wave Connect project in Humboldt County and is evaluating the potential for tidal energy in San Francisco Bay.

But Reedsport, Oregon may be the site of of the first commercial wave energy project on the West Coast. Surfrider Foundation is an active stakeholder in this project, which would be developed by Ocean Power Technologies.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wave and Tidal Energy Project Review Process in California

The California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Public Utilities Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to coordinate their review of hydrokinetic (wave and tidal) energy projects in California state waters. The MOU ensures that FERC and California will confer early and often to identify potential issues and to set a schedule to process permit applications. The MOU can be found online at: The FERC press release can be found online at

Under the MOU, officials at FERC and in California agree to the following with respect to hydrokinetic energy projects:

  • They will notify each other when one becomes aware of a potential applicant for a preliminary permit, pilot project license or license

  • They will encourage applicants to seek pilot project licenses prior to a full commercial license to allow adequate testing of untested devices or device operations before commercial deployment

  • They will coordinate the environmental reviews of any proposed projects in California state waters. FERC and California also will consult with stakeholders, including project developers, on the design of studies and environmental matters and

  • If California prepares siting guidelines or a comprehensive plan for the siting of hydrokinetic projects, FERC will take this plan into consideration when issuing a license for any hydrokinetic project.

  • For more information about the OPC, please visit:

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Setback for Wave Energy in Australia

    A wave energy generator which was launched off the New South Wales south coast of Australia in March, has sunk in rough seas. The 170-ton structure had been providing electricity to the grid from 150 meters offshore at Port Kembla. It broke free from its pylons last Friday afternoon and sank on Saturday. Early efforts to tow the barge to safety were abandoned due to the rough conditions. Attempts to retrieve the barge will be made this week. The generator's Sydney-based developer, Oceanlinx is investigating what happened.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    US Approves First Offshore Wind Farm

    The first US offshore wind farm project won government approval Wednesday.

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave the green light for the giant Cape Wind project in the channel between Cape Cod and the resort islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts.

    "In the wake of the offshore oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, it is more clear than ever that we need to move quickly to develop safe, responsible clean energy projects like Cape Wind instead of more offshore drilling," said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club's executive director.

    Read More

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010



    In the search for "cleaner and greener" energy; ocean waves, tides, currents and wind may offer important benefits as renewable sources of energy that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. These alternative energy sources may also provide economic development through a cutting-edge industry for coastal communities. At the same time, there are many questions and concerns about ocean energy, including potential impacts to ocean recreation, nearshore ecology, coastal processes, public safety, aesthetics, and fishing access.

    Please join SB Surfrider for an interesting and informative presentation on ocean wave energy. Patricia Wilmore of Pacific Gas & Electric will make a presentation on their proposal to test ocean wave energy devices off northern Santa Barbara County's coast. Hope to see you there!

    When: Thursday, April 15, 7:00 pm
    Where: Watershed Resource Center, Arroyo Burro Beach, 2981 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara
    Who: SB Surfrider
    What: Patricia Wilmore of PG&E will speak on PG&E's WaveConnect Project, a proposal to harvest ocean wave energy for electricity off the northern Santa Barbara County coast near Vandenberg AFB.

    For more information on ocean wave energy:

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Oregon's Big Buoy

    A wave energy project off Reedsport, Oregon is slated to be the first such commercial scale project in the U.S. Surfrider Foundation has been participating as a formal stakeholder in the settlement process on behalf of recreation and conservation interests.

    Two and a half years after a wave energy test buoy sank off Newport, the drive to harness energy from the ocean is heating up again with plans for at least one buoy to be deployed off Oregon's central coast before the year's end.

    And there are hopes for a handful more not long after.

    It's all part of Oregon's race to become a leader in wave energy technology, a competition that only three years ago threatened to deteriorate into a bitter battle pitting east coast developers against fishermen, surfers and others.

    Many of them feared the buoys could harm fishing, recreation and tourism. But today, some say the situation exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and cooperation.

    "Oregon has a lot to be proud of and a lot of people have shown a lot of leadership," Onno Husing, executive director of Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association. "We are literally helping to figure this out for the nation."

    If that happens -- if Oregon wins the wave energy race and does it well -- proponents say it could someday mean $1 billion plus annually to the state,

    Read More

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Offshore Wind, Marine Spatial Planning and Aquaculture

    Offshore alternative energy projects (wind, waves, tide) are just one type of potential use of finite marine resource areas off our coasts. These projects potentially conflict with a long list of historical and potential future uses, including fishing, shipping, oil and gas production, recreation, and aquaculture. Recognition of these sometimes competing uses has given rise to Marine Spatial Planning, which is aimed at conducting a logical planning process, involving multiple stakeholders to avoid having our seas become the next "wild west."

    In an effort to explore some of these issues, a symposium The Ecology of Marine Wind Farms: Perspectives on Impact Mitigation, Siting, and Future Uses was held in November 2009 in Maine. Abstracts and presentations from the symposium can be downloaded from the website.

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Oregon Territorial Sea Planning

    The State of Oregon is currently developing a Comprehensive Plan for the siting of renewable ocean energy projects in its Territorial Sea. As a formal stakeholder in the process, the Surfrider Foundation is conducting an Oregon Non-consumptive Recreational Use Study in partnership with Ecotrust, Natural Equity, and several state agencies. The study will provide high-quality spatially explicit information that is needed to inform marine spatial planning efforts within Oregon's marine waters. Data collection will focus on non-consumptive recreational use and related trip expenditures along Oregon's coast and Territorial Sea (state waters; 3 nautical miles). Activities to be surveyed include: water sports (e.g. surfing, diving, kayaking) beach going, wildlife viewing, and boating (e.g. motoring, sailing). This project is intended to help the state minimize potential effects to ocean recreation in Oregon. For more information, please visit Surfrider's Oregon website and the state's Territorial Sea Planning website

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Wave Energy Scales Up Off Scotland

    Leading edge: This buoyancy tube is the top edge of a 194-ton hinging device that converts wave energy into 315 kilowatts of electricity. Credit: Aquamarine Power

    Scotland hopes to ride the next renewable energy wave. Site leases for several big wave and tidal power projects were awarded last week by the U.K. government, concluding a two-year bidding process that elicited strong interest from major utilities and energy entrepreneurs. The awards open the way for six wave energy projects and four tidal energy systems around Scotland's Orkney Islands that could collectively generate up to 1.2 gigawatts, exceeding the U.K.'s 700-megawatt target for the bidding round. This is an immense scale for an industry that so far has installed only pilot projects involving a handful of small devices.

    Read more....

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Comments Sought for Wave Energy Project in Oregon

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on a request for a permit that would allow Ocean Power Technologies to install 10 buoys that would use wave action to produce electricity in the Pacific Ocean off Gardiner, Oregon . The company is looking to place the buoys in a 1,300-by-1,000-foot zone 2.5 miles west of the shore. The buoys, with a float ring diameter of 36, would be spaced 330 feet apart. A sub-sea transmission cable would transmit the electricity produced by the buoys to a Douglas Electric Cooperative transmission line on land. It would utilize an existing conduit, located about one-half mile from shore that formerly served as an effluent discharge pipe from the old International Paper plant at Gardiner.

    Written comments should be sent to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Merina Christoffersen, 1600 Executive Parkway, Suite 210, Eugene, OR 97401-2156. Comments related to water quality issues should be mailed to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 2020 S.W. Fourth Ave., Portland, OR 97201-4953, Attn: 401 Water Quality Certification Coordinator. They can also be sent by e-mail to


    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Largest Ocean Energy Device in the US coming to Maine

    When it is placed in the water next month, Ocean Renewable Power Co.’s underwater Turbine Generator Unit (TGU), designed to harness tidal power in Cobscook Bay near Eastport, Maine, will have a capacity rating of 60 kilowatts, making it the largest ocean energy device deployed in U.S. waters. In less than a month, the TGU should be providing power to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Eastport. "Energy Tide 2" has the capacity to generate enough electricity to power 20 homes.

    Although this is not much power, it is an important first step commercializing tidal power in the U.S. In a year or so from now, Ocean Renewable could have a 1-megawatt, stackable module of turbines off Eastport. Hooked to the Bangor Hydro-Electric grid, it could generate enough clean power at peak tidal flows to light more than 300 homes. That could lead to an expanded project with more modules and more output. If the technology can be refined to extract power from slower currents, and Ocean Renewable can win the needed regulatory permits, there may be enough good underwater sites around Eastport to install units with a total capacity of 100 megawatts.

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Editorial Supports Humboldt Wave Energy Project

    On February 4 the Eureka, CA Times-Standard editorialized in favor of PG&E's proposed wave energy project by writing:

    "...we encourage Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s efforts to implement a cutting-edge wave energy project off our coast. As long as it remains understood that such efforts need much in the way of development, and that some serious due diligence needs to be undertaken so that such projects don't have traumatic impacts on our coast or our fishing industry, Humboldt County should be jumping up and down to attract such projects. "

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    PG&E wave project in Humboldt County, CA

    EUREKA -- The Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is weeks away from submitting an application to the federal government for a first-of-its kind project to test wave energy devices off the Humboldt County coast.
    The pilot project could be a proving ground for the large-scale production of energy from waves, but a host of environmental and economic concerns will have to be addressed before that can happen. At a public meeting at the Veteran's Hall Tuesday night, a working group made up of representatives from PG&E, state and federal agencies, commercial and sport fishing interests, and surfing and environmental groups outlined the promise and potential effects of new technologies.


    The Humboldt Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is actively participating in this planning process to ensure that is meets the standards established in our Alternative Ocean Energy policy

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    What industry are we propping up?

    Source: Environmental Law Institute

    What energy future are we really supporting? The world's most profitable and polluting companies or a renewable energy future? Read more here and here.

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Oregon State University deploys prototype wave buoy

    See a prototype of a wave energy buoy bob up and down on the water's surface as researchers from Oregon State University study its efficacy.

    Read Smithsonian article about OSU electrical engineer & wave energy researcher Annette von Jouanne.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Decision on Cape Wind Soon?

    Cape Wind could be the largest wind energy project in the United States. The project has been in the news for almost a decade and has been intensely debated and fought not only along the shores of Cape Cod but also in the halls of Congress with vigorous opposition by the late Ted Kennedy as well as his nephew Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

    It should noted that Massachusetts citizens overwhelmingly support the project. In a 2005 survey: 81% of adults supported the project, 61% of Cape Cod residents supported it, and only 14% of adults oppose it.

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he expects to make a decision about the project by April.

    You can read more about the Environmental Impact Report here.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Reedsport, OR Settlement Process

    Surfrider Foundation continues to be involved in a settlement process with state and federal agencies, conservation groups, fishing groups, and Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) to agree on a precautionary approach to wave energy development off Reedsport, Oregon. Negotiations have developed a draft settlement agreement that includes an adaptive management strategy. This strategy includes study plans that OPT will conduct to identify any adverse effects from the first and second phases of the wave energy project. The company hopes to install one buoy next summer and nine additional buoys the following year. Monitoring of ecological and socioeconomic effects will help inform whether further build-out is warranted. Adaptive management ensures that parties reassess implementation of the project at each phase to avoid or minimize degradation to aquatic resources. Initial phases will include studies on aquatic species such as marine mammals, sharks, fish, plankton, and migratory birds. OPT will also study effects of wave energy buoys on recreation, public safety, crabbing, fishing, and cultural resources. Surfrider intends to remain engaged throughout the process to help ensure that adverse effects are addressed appropriately and efficiently.