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January 2013 Issue

First US Renewable Energy Lease Sales Set for 2013 in Atlantic
The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in November competitive lease sales for renewable energy development in two wind energy areas (WEAs) in federal waters.

The sales cover two WEAs along the Atlantic coast that have high wind resource potential. To be held in 2013, the sales will be the first-ever competitive ones on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for wind energy.

On offer is 277,550 acres in two WEAs: one offshore Virginia and the other an area of mutual interest offshore Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These areas are expected to be able to support more than 4,000 megawatts of wind generation; enough electricity to power an estimated 1.4 million homes.

The offshore Rhode Island-Massachusetts area covers approximately 164,750 acres and is located about 9.2 nautical miles south of the Rhode Island coastline. The area will be auctioned as two leases: the North Zone and South Zone. The North Zone lease will consist of about 97,500 acres and could support more than 1,000 megawatts of wind generation. The South Zone lease will consist of about 67,250 acres and could support a project of between 350 to 1,000 megawatts. Together, these zones could support enough electricity to power 700,000 homes.

The area offshore Virginia will be auctioned as one lease and totals about 112,800 acres, 23.5 nautical miles offshore southern Virginia. It is expected to support more than 2,000 megawatts of wind generation; enough to power 700,000 homes.

The 60-day public comment period for the proposed sales ends on February 1.

China Ship Recycling Facility Becomes First to Receive SOC
ClassNK (Tokyo, Japan) has issued a Statement of Compliance (SOC) for a ship recycling facility to Jiangmen Zhongxin Shipbreaking & Steel Co. Ltd. (Jiangmen, China). The SOC certifies that the facility and its recycling procedures are compliant with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009. This marks the first time that a ship recycling yard has achieved certification in line with the convention.

Zhongxin has become one of the largest ship recycling facilities in China, with a working yard occupying more than 400,000 square meters and an annual ship breaking capacity of more than 500,000 light displacement tons. The yard has been recognized as an AAAA-level Green Shipbreaking Enterprise by the China National Ship Recycling Association for its safe and environmentally sound ship-recycling practices.

Scotland Wave, Tidal Test Facility To Enable Simulation Testing
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)'and FloWave TT Ltd. (Edinburgh, Scotland)'have agreed to'share data collected at EMEC's wave and tidal test sites in Orkney, Scotland. This data will allow FloWave to replicate at scale the actual sea conditions in Orkney in its £9.5 million onshore test facility, which will be completed in 2013 at the University of Edinburgh.

In-tank simulation of the site-specific conditions found at EMEC will allow developers to hone their marine energy ideas and concepts quickly and at relatively low cost at a smaller scale before deploying their devices in the sea.

For EMEC, the new agreement means that developers will have more refined devices to bring to site, allowing its berths to be used more efficiently.

As part of the collaboration, EMEC will share 10 years of data collected from buoys and other instrumentation deployed at the Orkney wave and tidal test sites. The FloWave team will then work with EMEC engineers and scientists to turn this recorded data into an instruction set, allowing those conditions to be replicated in the test tank.

This collaboration supports and extends work in building a recognizable pathway to the commercialization of marine renewable energy devices in the U.K. and in Scotland in particular.

Deep Green Tidal Device to be Tested Offshore Northern Island
Minesto AB (Västra Frölunda, Sweden) has been authorized by the U.K.'s Crown Estate to perform tidal energy tests in early 2013 in the waters off Northern Ireland. Minesto has secured all other permits necessary, e.g., from the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency, to commence the trials, the company said.

Minesto will test its low-weight Deep Green technology, which works in slow currents and resembles a sweeping underwater kite comprising a wing and a turbine secured to the seabed with a tether. Deep Green's advantages over other tidal devices are a larger catchment area, and more cost-efficient service and maintenance, Minesto said.

These sea trials are an important step in the commercialization of Deep Green. They will be carried out at a scale of 1:4 for up to two years to validate the technology. This is the second round of sea tests; in the beginning of 2012, successful tests were completed at a scale of 1:10.

The European Union aims for renewable energy to account for 15 percent of U.K. energy production by 2020.

SRM Abandons Tidal Project Due to Whale Habitat Concerns
SRM Projects Ltd. (Nanaimo, Canada) applied for an investigative license to determine the suitability of Blackney Passage's tidal currents for energy generation in Canada, but it has abandoned the project because of concerns over whale habitats, Nanaimo Daily News reported in November. The site would have been off Cracroft Island, near Robson Bight Ecological Reserve.

When OrcaLab whale researchers posted concerns online about turbine blades operating within orca habitats, conservationists objected to SRM's project.

Provincial agencies use GIS maps in the application process for tidal projects, but in the case of SRM, these maps did not identify sensitive whale habitats.

Tidal power raises the risk of turning blades striking marine mammals and noise, which can travel up to 1 kilometer and could frighten animals.

SRM is now looking at two other sites near Campbell River.

2014:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV
2013:  JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

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