Finavera wins permit to study 100-MW Humboldt County Offshore

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a preliminary permit to Finavera Renewables Ocean Energy Ltd. to study the 100-MW Humboldt County Offshore Wave Energy project in the Pacific Ocean northwest of Trinidad, Calif.

FERC issued the permit (No. 12753) Feb. 14, allowing the Portland, Ore., subsidiary of Finavera Renewables Inc., Vancouver, B.C., three years to study the feasibility of the project.

Finavera plans analyses of oceanographic conditions, commercial and recreational activities, and effects potentially associated with the planned project. The company said it would rely on the studies and stakeholders in framing its application for a license to build and operate the project.

Finavera Chief Executive Officer Jason Bak said the company believes the project could become the first commercial wave energy installation in the United States.

�This preliminary permit from FERC is a significant milestone that allows us to move forward on advanced planning for the project, and we look forward to working closely with the local community to ensure a successful project,� Bak said.

Humboldt County Offshore Wave Energy would consist of 200 to 300 wave energy conversion buoys, each with a generating capacity of 200 kW to 1 MW, yielding a combined installed capacity of 100 MW. It also would feature a submarine transmission cable, generators, anchoring devices, an offshore transmission line, and related facilities. Interconnected clusters of the company’s AquaBuOY wave energy devices would generate about 175 gigawatt-hours annually for sale to a local utility.

Finavera noted it already signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas &Electric Co. for a 2-MW project in the Pacific Ocean, also in Humboldt County, Calif. (HNN 12/18/07) Finavera already holds FERC’s first operating license for a wave energy project, for the 1-MW Makah Bay Wave Pilot project (No. 12751) in Washington. (HNN 2/4/08)

FERC granted Finavera a permit in 2007 for the 300-MW Coos County Offshore Wave Energy project (No. 12752) in Oregon. (HNN 5/1/07) The company holds an investigative use permit for a 5-MW wave energy project in Ucluelet, B.C., (HNN 8/14/07) It also is developing wave energy projects to utilize AquaBuOYs in the Portugal (HNN 8/11/06) and South Africa. (HNN 4/20/07)

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