June 28, 2011 - pending applications for hydrokinetic licenses

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To wrap up our look at how hydrokinetic power projects are licensed, today I'll consider the currently pending applications for hydrokinetic project licenses.

Hydrokinetic power production entails the production of electricity from the energy of moving water: waves, tides, currents, or river flows.  Commercial projects, and even experimental pilot projects, generally need licenses from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Because hydrokinetic technologies are relatively new, FERC has issued only two licenses for hydrokinetic projects to date.  Two more license applications are pending, split between wave and tidal energy applications.

The pending hydrokinetic license application for wave energy is for the Reedsport OPT Wave Park in Oregon.  Developer Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) initially submitted its license application in January 2010.  If built, this would be the first commercial wave park on the west coast of the U.S.  The proposal is for an array of up to ten buoys, each of which could produce 150 kW.

The other pending hydrokinetic license application involves a tidal project in Maine.  Developer TideWorks has proposed a 5 kilowatt project in the Sasanoa River, near Bath.  This small project is proposed to provide power to a single-family dwelling on 15-acre Bareneck Island.  Because the project is proposed to have less than 5 MW of capacity, it may qualify for an exemption from licensing -- but must apply to FERC to obtain that exemption.

No comments:

Post a Comment