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The Leading Edge

EPRI releases report on wave potential in California

About 5,500 MW of wave power capacity is available off the coast of northern California, which would provide annual output of 48,000 gigawatt-hours. This is the finding of an EPRI report on wave potential in California, undertaken to help create a push toward developing a wave demonstration project.

EPRI determined that an average of 37,000 MW of energy dissipates on California’s coastline. Using present-day technology, a maximum of about 20 percent of that energy could be converted into electricity. This would provide enough electricity to meet 23 percent of the state’s needs.

EPRI identified several constraints to the development of a wave project in California:

– Costs to develop a small demonstration site to test the first few devices are heavily dependent on the cost to establish an electrical interconnection;

– Many ports in northern California are small fishing ports that would be difficult to navigate when large waves are present; and

– Local grid infrastructure in the area is limited, with most coastal towns connected by 60-kilovolt transmission links that offer about 50 MW of capacity.

In California Offshore Wave Power Feasibility Demonstration Project 1.5 – Bridging the Gap to Phase 2 Detailed Design and Permitting, EPRI identifies challenges in the development of commercial power generation using wave energy in California. These include: technology options are still in an immature stage, environmental effects are uncertain, and the regulatory framework is difficult to navigate.

– To read this report, visit www.epri. com/oceanenergy/waveenergy.html# reports and click on WP-011-CA.

U.S. city to add hydrokinetic turbines to 4.4-MW project  

The city of Hastings, Minn., is working with a private developer to install kinetic hydropower turbines in the tailrace of a conventional hydro project. The kinetic turbines, with a total capacity of 70 kW, will be installed in the tailrace of Hastings’ 4.4-MW Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 2 project.

Project developer and equipment manufacturer Hydro Green Energy LLC of Houston is helping the city put together plans for new generation. The city must file an application to amend its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license if it is to add the new capacity to the project, at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lock and dam. An amendment application was expected to be filed in September or October.

Plans call for installing Hydro Green Energy’s kinetic energy hydropower turbine array in the project tailrace. The array likely would consist of two 35-kW turbines suspended from a floating platform tethered to the existing powerhouse. The array would operate only when the power plant is in operation.

Hydrokinetic systems generate electricity from moving water without a need to construct dams, impoundments, or conduits.

Hydro Green Energy is paying all development and regulatory costs and will share revenue generated by sale of the power from the kinetic units. Xcel Energy buys generation from the project and also would buy the new electricity.

Canada awards $4 million grant for 1-MW Bay of Fundy tidal

Nova Scotia Power is using a C$4 million (US$3.8 million) grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to build a 1-MW in-stream tidal demonstration project in the Bay of Fundy.

The Bay of Fundy project was the only tidal or hydro-related project in a group of 19 newly approved projects awarded a total of C$48 million (US$46 million). SDTC is a foundation created by the government of Canada to support development and demonstration of clean technologies.

Nova Scotia Power will use the grant to meet part of the costs for its C$12 million (US$10.4 million) project.

OpenHydro Group of Ireland will supply a turbine-generator under contract to Nova Scotia Power. The utility chose OpenHydro’s open-center turbine as the result of a request for proposals. The open-center turbine is six meters in diameter and features a capacity of 250 kW. For this project, Nova Scotia Power plans to apply the technology on a larger scale – to 12 meters in diameter and a capacity of 1 MW.

Nova Scotia Power said it hopes to have the prototype project operating in late 2009, in Minas Passage in the bay.

Invitation anticipated for second round of funding requests

SDTC is inviting applications for its next round of funding to support development and demonstration of clean technologies. SDTC issued its next call for statements of interest on September 5, with responses due October 24.

The foundation operates a C$550 million (US$521 million) fund. SDTC said it seeks projects that address climate change, clean air, clean water, and clean soil issues.

For information on specific funding opportunities and evaluation criteria, E-mail: applications@sdtc.ca; or contact Sebastien Prince-Richard, Manager, Applications, (1) 613-234-6313 ext. 232; E-mail: s.prince-richard@sdtc.ca.

Briefly...

The electric power grid interface of Ocean Power Technologies Inc.’s PowerBuoy wave energy device has been certified compliant with international standards. An independent laboratory certified the device complies with international safety standards, including UL1741 and IEEE1547. ... The Denali Commission and Alaska Energy Authority are considering issuing a request for proposals that would offer up to $5 million in assistance to alternative and renewable energy projects, including hydroelectric, river, and ocean projects.


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