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.