In January 2008, I had talked about how Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in Northern California was working with Finavera to deploy an offshore wave farm. The AquaBuoys were to be placed out to sea a little north of San Francisco in Humboldt County.
Well, now the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has stricken this deal saying that wave energy was still in its experimental stages. The PUC also says that PG&E would be paying too much for the electricity generated by wave power.
Unfortunately for PG&E, they were hoping that this wave farm would help towards achieving California’s mandate that 20-percent of the electricity produced within the state by 2010 with renewable energy.
On the upside of the wave farm news this week is that the most recent wave energy prototype engineered by Columbia Power Technologies and Oregon State University has proven successful. The direct drive buoy, tested in collaborated with the U. S. Navy off the cost of Newport, Oregon, exceeded expectations.
The way the buoys are constructed they eliminate the necessity of a hydraulic systems and are in fact more robust in rugged ocean situations. As with any new renewable energy technologies there will be plenty of ups and downs when it comes to wave energy.
But, the biggest upside is clean, green, renewable energy on a massive scale that vastly available.