Ocean-based renewable power starts to get real

As drilling for oil in the Arctic begins to pick up, and while each of the U.S. presidential candidates tries to convince voters that he is the one who could approve more offshore oil permits, what has become of the dream of mining our vast offshore renewable energy resources — wind, waves, and tides?

According to TG Daily, on September 13th, the Bangor Hydro Electric Company confirmed that electricity was flowing to the grid from the Cobscook Bay Tidal Project in Maine. The project operators say that this is the first power from any ocean energy project including offshore wind, wave and tidal, to be delivered to an electric utility grid in the United States. And soon, the first of a series of PowerBuoys will begin to deliver power from a location off the coast of Oregon.  While these initial projects are tiny, they are producing electricity well in advance of the controversial Cape Wind and other proposed offshore wind projects.

What is the practical potential for offshore renewable power, and what is the state of efforts to bring bigger offshore projects to fruition? These are questions that speakers will explore at a panel session to be hosted by Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment next Thursday, September 20th, at 5pm. This event, which runs for 90 minutes, is part of a series sponsored by the center in conjunction with the Farella Braun law firm and the Environmental Law Institute. Registration is free and can be completed here. For those who can’t attend in person, there is a phone hook up available.

, , , , ,