State waiver lets FERC preempt state Coastal Zone rules
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a declaratory order that FERC hydropower licensing under the Federal Power Act pre-empts state regulation under the Coastal Zone Management Act in an instance in which the state of Washington unintentionally waived its CZMA permit authority.
The June 19 ruling blocks a state-imposed stay of construction and allows work to begin on the 600-kW Admiralty Inlet Pilot tidal project to be installed in Washington’s Puget Sound. FERC issued a hydrokinetic pilot project license for the Admiralty Inlet project on March 20, 2014. FERC and the state of Washington agreed in 2009 to coordinate procedures and schedules for reviewing hydrokinetic energy projects in state waters of Washington.
As a pre-requisite for FERC licensing, a state agency has six months from application in which to issue a shoreline management permit under the CZMA.
While license applicant Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 filed a CZMA application with the Washington Department of Ecology in March 2012, Snohomish County PUD and Ecology advised FERC by joint letter in September 2012 that they had agreed to extend the state’s review period.
However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which administers the CZMA, found extension of the review period did not comply with federal regulations and, as a result, Ecology waived its CZMA authority.
In May 2014, Ecology issued a shoreline permit for Admiralty Inlet incorporating conditions set by Island County, Wash., under state CZMA regulations, including a requirement that project construction be delayed until appeals of the permit are concluded.
FERC agreed to Snohomish County PUD’s request for a declaratory order upholding Federal Power Act pre-emption of state regulation.
FERC noted that Snohomish County PUD has informed Ecology and Island County that it intends to comply voluntarily with all provisions of the shoreline permit except the stay of construction.
Skemp honored for achievements in marine hydrokinetics
Susan Skemp was honored in July as one of the first class of recipients of the “Women with Hydro Vision” awards, given at the HydroVision International event in Nashville, Tenn. As executive director of the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) at Florida Atlantic University, Skemp received the award in the marine hydrokinetic category.
Skemp has been executive director of SNMREC since 2008. The center seeks to advance the science and technology of recovering energy from the oceans’ renewable resources.
The awards program was designed to honor and recognize influential women working in hydropower in 10 distinct categories. Honorees were recognized during an awards luncheon.
Black Rock Tidal releases details for Bay of Fundy project
Schottel has announced details of a 2.5-MW ocean power demonstration berth its subsidiary Black Rock Tidal Power Inc. (BRTP) plans to install in Canada’s Bay of Fundy.
BRTP was one of two marine and hydrokinetic technology developers selected by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy in March to deploy an array in the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) site.
Schottel said BRTP will initially install 16 of its STG generating units in spring 2016, giving the project a capacity of 1.1 MW. The company plans to add an additional 20 STG units in early 2017.
The generators will be mounted on the Triton platform system developed by Tidal Stream Ltd., which is partially owned by Germany-based Schottel.
Tidal power group FORCE adds staff, board members
Two staff members and two volunteer board members have been added to the team of the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) in Nova Scotia, Canada. Joining FORCE’s staff are Anne-Marie Belliveau and Simon Melrose.
Belliveau is a professional engineer and certified project manager with a background in managing large, multi-disciplinary environmental engineering projects. Melrose most recently served as Nova Scotia manager for marine weather and oceanographic company Oceans Ltd.
Additions to the FORCE board include Janet MacMilan and Paul Jamer as independent directors. MacMilan is a partner and lead strategic counsel at National Public Relations, while Jamer is a marine engineer and vice president of corporate development for Aspin Kemp & Associates.