Big step for Oregon wave demo
‘No competitive interest’ finding clears way to pursue research lease
A 20MW wave-energy test project off Oregon has cleared another permitting hurdle. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today said it is appropriate to issue a lease on a non-competitive basis for the site offshore Newport.
The finding is an important step toward finalizing a research lease for the area where the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University would site the hydrokinetic energy test project, said BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank.
“Moving forward, we will work closely with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the reviews and development of the project.”
The center proposes to design, build and operate the Pacific Marine Energy Center – South Energy Test Site in a 33-square mile area about four miles offshore, where water depths range from 180 to 230 feet.
The project would consist of four test berths to demonstrate the viability of wave energy off the US by providing a grid-connected facility for prototype and utility scale devices.
The developer submitted a lease request to BOEM in June 2013. The FERC will work with the center to prepare environmental documents and BOEM will be a cooperating agency.
The center in late May filed a ‘notice of intent to file license application’ and ‘request to use the alternative licensing procedures’ with the FERC.
Image: Hydrokinetic energy researchers plan test site in Pacific waters (sxc)