Wave Energy on Display

Sailors, surfers and sea lions used to be the only ones catching waves on the California coast, but home owners could benefit from the energy of waves if scientists can catch the power from the ocean and bring it to shore. An Offshore Wave Energy Feasibility Demonstration Project from September 15 to 17, 2004 will bring together E2I, ERPI, DOE, NREL, and various state energy agencies in Palo Alto to discuss the latest information in wave energy.

Palo Alto, California – July 6, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Sailors, surfers and sea lions used to be the only ones catching waves on the California coast, but home owners could benefit from the energy of waves if scientists can catch the power from the ocean and bring it to shore. An Offshore Wave Energy Feasibility Demonstration Project from September 15 to 17 will bring together the Electricity Innovation Institute (E2I), the Electric Research Power Institute (ERPI), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and various state energy agencies in Palo Alto to discuss the latest information in wave energy. On the last day of the demonstration, the Offshore Wave Energy Pilot Plant Ocean Beach Site and the Hydro Venturi Golden Gate Bridge Tidal Current Pilot Project will be open for public tours. E2I and the EPRI have collaborated with state energy agencies and utilities from Maine, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii, and the DOE and NREL to define system designs for wave energy conversion device power plants at one site in each of those states. Site assessment for offshore wave energy applications were conducted in each state. Viable candidate sites were identified that met required attributes of wave regime, bathymetry, coastal utility grid interconnection, regional manufacturing infrastructure, and local harbor infrastructure for deployment, retrieval and servicing of devices have been identified. A majority of international Wave Energy Conversion (WEC) Device manufacturers responded to E2I and EPRI’s request for information about potential applications of WEC devices to offshore sites. Initial findings show that the devices could be technologically ready for pilot plant detailed design and permitting in 2005 and beginning of construction in 2006. For a single site and device in each of the partner states, E2I and EPRI will perform a conceptual level system design, analyze the yearly electrical power production, and assess the economics relative to those of other competing renewable sources such as wind. This Phase I scoping study will provide information needed by each state’s decision makers to decide whether or not to proceed to the Phase II study outlining a detailed concept, permitting issues, and construction financing options.

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