PG&E to Study Wave Power in Humboldt
Feb 28, 2007 PRNewswire-FirstCall
Pacific Gas and Electric Company took the first step
towards developing generation projects that could
convert the abundant wave energy off the coast of
Mendocino and Humboldt Counties into electricity by
filing two preliminary permit applications with the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Named
"WaveConnect," the proposed developments would extend
PG&E's environmental leadership by providing its customers
with a new source of clean, renewable power.
"The waters off the coast of Humboldt and Mendocino
Counties have excellent wave power potential," said
Fong Wan, PG&E's vice president of energy procurement.
"The development of this new type of energy resource,
which generates electricity from the movement of water
near the surface of the ocean, is one of the many
sources of clean, non-polluting, renewable energy
that PG&E is aggressively pursuing." The WaveConnect
projects will begin with resource, environmental,
and ocean use studies and if developed would use wave
energy conversion (WEC) devices to transform the energy
of ocean waves into clean, renewable electricity.
This would be the first application in North America
for a project that would allow multiple WEC device
manufacturers to demonstrate their devices on a common
site, which could help accelerate the development
of wave energy technology.
Most of the WEC devices currently being considered
by PG&E float on the ocean surface and generate electricity
when waves are present. PG&E, as the lead developer,
will be responsible for the permitting of the sites
and will encourage the participation of multiple WEC
device manufacturers in the projects. As part of its
feasibility analysis, PG&E will solicit and incorporate
input from local communities and interested governmental
and non-governmental stakeholders. Phased development
of the sites would proceed if technical results support
feasibility, environmental studies show that any significant
impacts can be fully mitigated, and stakeholder considerations
can be satisfactorily addressed.
PG&E intends to utilize the most effective technologies
for the wave energy projects. If fully developed,
the projects could each provide up to 40 megawatts
of clean renewable electric supply.
Working closely with stakeholders, PG&E will take
a leading role in identifying and mitigating any potential
impacts to the marine environment in order to maintain
the beauty and diversity of coastal waters. PG&E,
working with environmental agencies and consultants,
will undertake studies of the water resource and its
various ecosystems. The project will be designed to
minimize effects on the environment, coastal processes,
and ocean users.
WaveConnect is PG&E's latest investment in innovative
renewable energy technologies that address climate
change. Pacific Gas and Electric Company already delivers
some of the cleanest energy of any large utility in
the nation. The utility currently obtains 12% of its
energy from qualifying renewable sources under California's
Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), including solar,
wind, biomass, geothermal, and small hydroelectric.
In addition, more than 50% of the electricity that
PG&E delivers to its customers comes from generating
resources that emit no or low carbon dioxide, the
primary contributor to global warming.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company