FERC Seeks Comment on Temporary License To Allow for Evaluation of Tidal Project
If like me, you believe that pervasive regulation is stifling emergence of wave and tidal projects in the United States, then here's your chance to do something about it. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission , the agency that so kindly has asserted jurisdiction over the licensing of offshore wave and tidal projects is soliciting comment on a proposal by Verdant Power that would allow it to operate and transmit power from its project on an experimental basis for 18 months without a license. In my view, this type of flexibility would enable wave and tidal developers to deploy prototypes, observe how they function in "real-world" conditions and if necessary, modify them to reduce any adverse impacts.
Now, I realize that environmental review is important and that wave and tidal projects, though renewable, small and in theory benign, may nonetheless have some impacts. But the impacts are far less than the types of enormous plants that are permitted all the time and far more expeditiously. In the early stages of the wave energy industry, developers should be able to spend their limited resources on finessing project technology and not complying with permit procedures intended for behemoths. To the extent that the Verdant proposal would allow some relief from onerous requirements, I'm all for it - as should any supporter of wave energy should be as well.
You can view FERC's Notice Soliciting Comments on the proposal here in the online Federal Register. Deadline for comments is March 13, 30 days after the February 11, 2005 publication date.