U.S. cancels permit for 300-MW Coos County wave project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has canceled a preliminary permit held by Finavera Renewables Ocean Energy Ltd. to study the 300-MW Coos County Offshore Wave Energy project proposed for the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Coos County, Ore.

FERC spokesman Celeste Miller said it is the first time FERC has canceled a preliminary permit for a hydrokinetic project (No. 12752). FERC indicated it has issued more than 110 preliminary permits to study hydrokinetic projects since 2005.

The commission’s June 26 order cited the company’s failure to file a six-month progress report due March 31, and failure to file a notice of intent to file a license application and pre-application document.

Finavera Renewables Senior Vice President Myke Clark said the company studied all of its projects and decided, from a business standpoint, it did not make sense to proceed at this time with the Coos County project. The company had planned to seek FERC’s permission to surrender the preliminary permit, but simply ran out of time to do so, Clark said.

Hydropower preliminary permits, which reserve sites for study but do not authorize construction, often are surrendered or are allowed to expire based on developers’ findings.

Clark said the time and investment necessary to prepare the pre-application document would be better invested in other projects, including 5-MW Ucluelet in British Columbia (HNN 8/14/07), a 20-MW South Africa wave project yet to be named (HNN 4/20/07), the 2-MW Humboldt County wave project (listed as 100 MW in its permit No. 12753) in California, and the first-to-be-licensed 1-MW Makah Bay Offshore Wave Pilot project (No. 12751) in Washington. (HNN 3/21/08)

�We do not need as many projects as we thought we needed,� Clark said, adding that the technology proposed still was several years away from becoming commercially available.

FERC issued the permit in April 2007 to AquaEnergy Group Ltd., which changed its name to Finavera Renewables Ocean Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of Finavera Renewables Inc. of Vancouver, B.C. (HNN 5/1/07) The three-year permit, which had been scheduled to expire at the end of March 2010, allowed the company to conduct studies of oceanographic conditions, commercial and recreational activities, and possible project effects.

Coos County Offshore would have used clusters of the company’s patented AquaBuOY wave energy devices. While the company said the project would have a total generating capacity of 100 MW, the permit describes a 40 MW to 300 MW project of 200 to 300 buoys with a capacity of 200 kW to 1 MW each. It was proposed the project would generate 175 gigawatt-hours annually for sale to a local utility.


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