LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

The web's first ocean and offshore wind energy weblog. Continuously renewed, like the ocean itself.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

More Wave Energy Innovation in the US

This article,
Innovator's Undersea Energy Source Attracts Navy, Others
(12/11/2003) reports on
Herb Williams, a Palatka, Fla., dock builder and former Alaskan crab boat skipper, whose small company wants to sink a network of innovative turbines he has designed - think of a giant fan with a hole in the center where the hub should be - deep into the Gulf Stream off the coast of South Florida. If it works - still a big question - the machines would convert the relentless flow of that undersea river into a more valuable kind of current. In July, a British company installed a turbine to tap current while other European and American companies are developing systems to tap tides, waves and currents.

But additional tests are needed. According to the article, Williams also drawn interest from the Navy and hopes to sign a contract with the Navy to help construct a full-scale prototype, with blades 106 feet in diameter, for testing off the coast. Williams has also applied for the first federal permit (editor's note - Williams apparently applied to the Corps of Engineers though FERC has asserted jurisdiction over ocean energy permitting) for what he envisions as seven "energy fields" stretching from Miami to Vero Beach, Fla., with an array of 500 generators. The review could take a year. And the cost of building a prototype could cost around $2 million which means that it may be awhile before the first wave or current energy project comes on line.
John Chorlog, an assistant director for Miami-Dade's Water and Sewer Department, said Williams would have to supply


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