Finavera Renewables Responds to CPUC Denial of Wave Energy PPA

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has denied Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) application for a 2-megawatt power purchase agreement (PPA) the utility had signed with Finavera Renewables for a wave power project in Humboldt County, California. The decision was based on the rate to be payed under the PPA, according to the CPUC.

In response to the CPUC’s draft decision, PG&E argued that the rate was reasonable because the technology is new and the project is small. PG&E also said that ratepayers would not be affected if the project is not viable and that a failure to approve the project could negatively affect wave power development in California. 

“This decision by the CPUC is out of step with federal policy and with other state and city initiatives. Jurisdictions such as Oregon, Washington, the City of San Francisco, New York and New Jersey have all created initiatives to accelerate the development and deployment of marine renewables, in conjunction with the leadership of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Minerals Management Service,” said Jason Bak, Finavera Renewables’ CEO.

Finavera Renewables said that it has begun investigating alternatives for the funding of research and development on wave energy, including the formation of a private consortium. The company has identified engineering, financial and systems integration partners who may participate as equity partners in a private subsidiary dedicated wholly to wave energy development. The company said that it is also exploring other options in California and with PG&E.

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