Tidal power project gets federal OK
Source: Jeff Barnard, The Associated Press
Wave power developers planning a project off the Oregon Coast now have the nation’s only federal permit to develop a commercial wave power park.
Ocean Power Technologies, Inc., based in Pennington, N.J., said Monday it will be deploying the first buoy for testing sometime this year off Reedsport.
Charles Dunleavy, CEO of the publicly held company, said they hope to have the country’s first commercial wave power park online within two or three years of securing full financing.
The project will include 10 buoys anchored 2½ miles off the coast and covering about 30 acres. They will produce 1.5 megawatts enough to power about 1,000 homes. An undersea cable will carry the power to a site slated for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and connect to the grid at a substation in Gardner.
The Oregon Coast has become a hotspot for wave power research and development. Atmocean, Inc., in Santa Fe, N.M., plans to test three buoys this year off Coos Bay. The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Facility at Oregon State University recently towed out to sea near Newport the nation’s first publicly available wave power test facility, called Ocean Sentinel. Oregon state is looking for a site to build a grid-connected test facility known as the Pacific Marine Energy Center.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued the 35-year permit to Ocean Power last week. A conditional permit issued for a project in Makah Bay, Wash., was returned in 2007, the agency said.
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