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May 2014 Issue
BOEM Assesses Interest in Wave Energy Offshore Oregon
BOEM is assessing whether there is competitive interest in wave energy research or development in an area of federal waters offshore Oregon where the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University (NNMREC-OSU) proposes to site a hydrokinetic energy facility to test utility-scale wave energy devices.
BOEM also seeks public comment on the hydrokinetic facility proposal, its potential environmental consequences and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located.
NNMREC-OSU proposes to develop and deploy its Pacific Marine Energy Center-South Energy Test Site as a facility for developers to test utility-scale wave energy devices at four test berths, with a connection to the mainland electric grid via a subsea cable.
The project is designed to support up to 10 megawatts of electricity generation from individual devices and small-scale arrays. The facility would be located about 4 nautical miles offshore Newport, Oregon, at 180 to 230 feet depths.
The Electric Power Research Institute estimates that the total technically recoverable wave energy resource along the U.S. coast is 1,170 terawatts a year (TWh/yr), almost one-third of the 4,000 TWh of electricity used in the U.S. each year. The potential of just 1 TWh/yr of energy will supply around 93,850 average U.S. homes with power annually. The recoverable wave energy resource for the West Coast is estimated at 250 TWh/yr.
New Developers, New Turbine Flotation System at FORCE
Two new developers have joined the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE). The government of Nova Scotia, Canada, has awarded OpenHydro (Dublin, Ireland) and Black Rock Tidal Power (Halifax, Canada) berths at the Bay of Fundy site.
In addition, Bluewater (Hoofddorp, Netherlands) and existing berth holders Minas Energy (Hantsport, Canada) and Siemens (Munich, Germany) have partnered to deploy turbines using a new advanced floatation system. While there has been testing of tidal and wave devices in Europe, it is at FORCE where some of the first groups of devices will be deployed as arrays. The move from single to multiple devices is significant, as it will allow for economies of scale to be realized and for a greater understanding of how to reduce costs by finding solutions for grid-connected projects.
DOE Offers More Funding for WEC, MHK Technologies
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made $6.5 million available to develop a competition that challenges companies, universities and individuals to improve the performance and lower the cost of power produced by wave energy converter (WEC) devices.
The aim is to find an organization to develop and administer the WEC Prize. Once launched, the competition will help attract innovative ideas across this emerging industry.
DOE has also made $3.5 million available for the development and testing of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) sensors, instruments and processing techniques. The goal is to support the development of new instruments to measure the environmental impacts of MHK technologies, test and integrate environmental monitoring instrumentation packages, and develop and test sensors and instruments to collect data on the characteristics of waves, including their height, period, direction and steepness. The wave characteristic data will enable wave energy converter devices to use feed-forward controls to more accurately assess approaching waves and more efficiently harness their energy.
ARENA Gives VWP $5 Million in Grant Funding
Victorian Wave Partners Pty. Ltd. (Portland, Australia), or VWP, has received approximately $5.0 million (Australian) in initial grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The funding received represents the first payment under the $66.5 million (Australian) grant that was awarded by ARENA to VWP toward the cost of building and deploying its planned wave power station project off the coast of Australia.
VWP and ARENA signed a deed of variation in January, which amended the grant agreement to accelerate the reimbursement of eligible expenses for stages one and two of the planned three-stage project and increases the number of project milestones.
The grant requires the raising of significant additional funding by VWP, as well as the completion of specific milestones. VWP will be deferring revenue recognition of this payment pending satisfaction of certain grant requirements.
VWP is currently conducting seabed surveys toward meeting the requirements for licenses and approvals. VWP is also assessing power purchase agreement opportunities.
Timmons, AXYS to Explore New Methods of Monitoring
AXYS Technologies Inc. (Sidney, Canada) was chosen by the Timmons Group (Richmond, Virginia) to be a member of their team, which was awarded a research project funded by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) to explore new methods of metocean and offshore environmental monitoring.
The Timmons Group proposal was one of the four successful responses to the DMME request for proposals.
The results from research and development activities conducted through these project awards will help lower costs and risks for commercial offshore wind power development on the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Virginia.
Alstom, BFG Sign Agreement for Nacelle Casing Material
Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) signed an exclusive partnership agreement with BFG France1 for the supply of composite structures to produce the nacelle casings for Alstom's Haliade 150 6-megawatt offshore wind turbine. 1 BFG is a composite materials supplier in France's Charente-Maritime department. Alstom is constructing two plants by the end of 2014 in Saint-Nazaire that will produce the nacelles and generators. Alstom has also started up offshore wind turbine activities at its engineering center dedicated to marine energies in Nantes, France.
2015: JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT
2014: JAN | MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV