2:49 pm
Thu August 5, 2010

Waters Smoothed For Wave Energy Pioneer

A company hoping to build the first commercial wave energy project on the West Coast has cleared a major hurdle. The developer has reached a preemptory settlement with concerned parties and government environmental agencies. KPLU's Tom Banse has details.

The master settlement is the product of three years of negotiations between the company Ocean Power Technologies and a dozen different community groups and government agencies. The New Jersey-based marine energy developer wants to moor an array of wave power buoys about two-and-a-half miles offshore of Reedsport. Oregon Crab Commission director Nick Furman says the settlement includes numerous studies and monitoring to confirm whether wave energy is really a good fit for the coast.

Nick Furman: “At any point in time, when we say, ‘Hey wait a minute. We think this is having a negative impact’ -- for example on crab populations or something in the area -- then we can in effect raise the red flag.”

The Oregon Iron Works company has already started construction on the first of ten proposed wave energy buoys. The buoys generate electricity by harnessing the up and down motion of the waves to spin an internal generator. The wave energy buoys are slated for deployment starting at the end of this year thru next year. I’m Tom Banse reporting.