U.S. developers to explore offshore wind-ocean hybrid projects

Hydro Green Energy LLC and Wind Energy Systems Technology Group (W.E.S.T.) plan jointly to explore potential for the world’s first hybrid offshore wind-hydrokinetic ocean current power projects.

Hydro Green and W.E.S.T. envision using Gulf of Mexico wind and water currents to develop projects with a total capacity of nearly 5,000 MW.

�We are very excited to explore the Gulf of Mexico with W.E.S.T. and deeply appreciate their interest and enthusiasm in our patented hydrokinetic technology to firm up offshore wind,� Hydro Green Energy Chairman Wayne Krouse said. �While an enormous amount of work remains ahead of us and there is still much to learn about the Gulf’s water currents, if the data we gather confirms that the Gulf has the currents needed for utility-scale ocean power, we plan to aggressively move forward to develop the world’s first offshore wind-hydrokinetic power projects.�

The agreement, announced July 28, grants Hydro Green access to W.E.S.T. platforms and lease areas in the gulf for data gathering and possible testing. W.E.S.T. is headquartered in New Iberia, La.

To better secure its exploration agreement with W.E.S.T., Hydro Green filed ten preliminary permit applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If granted, the permits would give Hydro Green a three-year right to study the hydrokinetic portion of the projects, all in Texas waters.

W.E.S.T. signed a lease agreement with the General Land Office of Texas in 2005 for its offshore wind projects, all located on submerged lands and waters owned by the state.

In addition to the new venture, Hydro Green is developing river, tidal, and ocean hydrokinetic projects in Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, and Texas. Hydro Green noted its 70-kW project in Hastings, Minn., now expected to begin operating this fall, would be the first commercially operational federally licensed hydrokinetic project in the United States. (HNN 5/8/08)

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