LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

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

Friday, February 04, 2005

EPRI Issues Final Report on Wave Development

Via Renewable Energy Access, comes this article, Economies of Scale Could Swell Ocean Energy (2/2/05) that reports on a new report by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) suggesting that generation of electricity from wave energy may be economically feasible in the near future. The study was carried out by EPRI in collaboration with the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and energy agencies and utilities from six states. The study determined that wave energy conversion may be economically feasible within the territorial waters of the United States as soon as investments are made to enable wave technology to reach a cumulative production volume of 10,000 - 20,000 MW.(Land-based wind turbines, in comparison, generate 40,000 MW.) The EPRI report can be viewed here. (note - I was interviewed for the section of the report dealing with permitting requirements).

Legislative Developments on Wind

The Renewable Energy Law Blog offers a steady stream of news on all renewable developments, often touching on matters of interest to those in the offshore wind and wave community. For example, from that site comes a list of
wind energy legislative initiatives
from various states.

Oregon Leads the Wave!

Oregon State University (OSU) seeks a wave energy research center according to this article from the Portland Business Journal (1/31/05). A meeting was scheduled for February 2 between the Electric Power Research Institute and the Oregon Department of Energy to bring togehter potential partners in the field of wave energy. This article provides more news on the Oregon initiative. (see also our piece above on EPRI's wave study reports)

LIPA Moving Ahead With Wind Power, On and Offshore

According to this article, Wind Power Renews Defunct Nuclear Site, Renewable Energy Access (2/3/05), LIPA trustees and other governmental officials recently gathered at the site of the defunct Shoreham nuclear power plant to dedicate two wind turbines that will supply 200,000 kWh of power annually to Long Island's power grid. But in addition to the Shoreham project, LIPA is also working with FPL Energy to develop large-scale offshore wind generating projects capable of producing up to 140 MW of electricity, which is enough to supply more than 40,000 average-sized homes in the Long Island area. LIPA's offshore wind project should be located south west of Robert Moses State Park and is scheduled for commercial operation in the summer 2008.

Global News: Ocean Projects for South Africa, Spain and China

This past month, a number of news stories have emerged on the progress of ocean projects in other counties, specifically South Africa, Spain and China. Here's the summary:

World's first tidal power station (www.chinaview.cn, 1/25/05). According to this article, the Ocean Energy Division of the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed the world's first independent and stable tidal power generation system, which allows humans to convert tidal energy into stable electrical energy for the first time. The article further reports that the wave power system has already gone through the 10kW grade actual sea tests. An independent tidal power station with a total capacity of 50kW is currently under construction, which will allow a maximum output of 400kW. So far, a test model of the wave energy desalination station has been set up, and has passed simulated tests in the laboratory. It is expected to begin actual sea trials in February and commence trial production at the end of this year.

South Africa Wave Power
, Melanie Gosling, www.iol.co.za (2/4/05). According to this article, a British company which British company, which has established a wave energy farm in Scotland and is setting one up in Portugal, believes South Africa's abundance of wave power can be harnessed to provide clean, green energy. The company, owned by Vincenzo Bellini, hopes to establish three wave energy farms off South Africa's coast.

Construction of the first plant for using energy from sea waves
(2/4/05). This article reports that the municipal borough of Mutriku on the Basque coast has been chosen as the location for the first plant in the Basque Country for the generation of electricity, taking advantage of the energy produced by sea waves. The plant is to be installed at the outside of the new containment dyke to be built at the Port of Mutriku. The project will represent a number of "firsts," such as the first project to be installed with more than one turbine and the first to be totally integrated into a newly built dyke. The project utilizes oscillating water column (OWC) technology to produce electricity.

MTC Makes Twenty Five Million Dollars Available for Renewables

According to this story, State Energy Trust Offers $25 Million for Renewables, Renewable Energy Acess (1/31/05), the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's Renewable Energy Trust launched a US $25 million request for proposals that will make funding commitments to support projects that could generate up to 25-50 MW of new, clean energy for the New England electric grid. This is the second round of funding from the Trust's first-in-the-nation Massachusetts Green Power Partnership. Apparently, all types of renewable projects are eligible for funding including offshore wind and wave and tidal technologies.

Large Scale Wave Project Up and Coming In the UK

This article, Wave and Tidal Power to Feed Grid Within 3 Years (January 31, 2005) reports that the UK's first large scale wave and tidal power generation farms could be contributing to the national grid within 3 years under a new support scheme worth £42million announced today by Energy Minister Mike O'Brien. As quoted in the article, Mr. O'Brien said:

"The marine renewables sector is at a critical point in its development from pipe dream, through R&D, to commercial viability.

"The UK is already by far the most attractive place to develop these emerging technologies. The Government has invested £15m in R&D, and it's now clear that there are a number of exciting wave and tidal projects on the verge of pre-commercial operation.

"This new £42m scheme marks a watershed. It will kickstart construction of large scale demonstration farms and will for the first time see wave and tidal power feeding into the national grid.

"Harnessing energy from the seas has terrific potential which, alongside wind and other renewables, will make an increasingly vital contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and diversifying our energy mix."

It's hard to imagine a U.S. energy official making the same announcement or similarly acknowleging the potential of wave energy as part of the nation's energy mix, but perhaps the tides will turn...

A Coastal Plan for Cape Waters

Confronted with the Cape Wind Project and in anticipation of future tidal water developments, the Providence Center for Coastal Studies has released a report that aims to protect roughly 5000 square miles of water within the Nantucket Shelf Region. Additional information about the report can be found in this article, Creating a 'Nantucket Shelf': Center aims to map Cape waters master plan , Doreen Leggett, Cape Codder, Town Online (1/14/05). And the report, Toward an Ocean Vision for the Nantucket Shelf Region is available atthe Center's website .