FERC approves hydrokinetic pilot license for 600-kW Admiralty Inlet tidal project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a hydrokinetic pilot project license March 20 to the 600-kW Admiralty Inlet Pilot tidal project to be installed in Washington’s Puget Sound.

Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 filed an application in 2012 for Admiralty Inlet (No. 12690) to be developed in Kitsap County, Wash. Snohomish plans to deploy, operate, monitor, and evaluate two 10-meter-diameter Open-Centre Turbines, developed and manufactured by OpenHydro Group Ltd. The Department of Energy awarded $10 million to the $20 million project in 2010.

The 10-year pilot project license allows Snohomish to study, monitor and evaluate the environmental, economic and cultural effects of the hydrokinetic project.

The license requires Snohomish to implement acoustic, sea floor, near-turbine and marine mammal monitoring plans. It also requires project and public safety, navigation, and emergency shutdown plans. It requires development of a project removal plan including procedures to remove project works and restore the area at the end of the license unless Snohomish obtains a new license.

In issuing the license, FERC concluded the project would not pose a risk to a nearby undersea fiber-optic communication cable between the United States and Japan.

FERC previously issued hydrokinetic pilot project licenses in 2012 for the 300-kW Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy project (No. 12711) in Maine and the 1.05-MW Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project (No. 12611) in New York. The commission issued a subsequent preliminary permit in February for study of the 240-MW Turnagain Arm tidal project (No. 13509) in Alaska.

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