I blogged about an ambitious plan for seven offshore wave-driven power plants in American waters. The permit requests have been filed with the federal government by Grays Harbor Ocean Energy of Washington State. The company replied promptly to me qwuestion about where the money will come from. Not you, worthy taxpayer, but I'm sure they'd welcome interest from your favorite VC.
Here's the email from Burton Hamner, President, Grays Harbor Ocean Energy Company LLC: "We are raising funds from private investors now. We intend to raise $5.4M in early 2009 for high-level feasibility studies of the proposed sites and for local stakeholder consultations. We expect to raise about $40M in 2010 to fund ocean surveys of the sites using high-resolution sidescan sonar. Full funding of the projects will come from private investors and from 80% debt financing. Because we are using a hybrid of technologies, which now include offshore gas turbines integrated into the wind/wave farms, we can maintain nearly constant rated power output and thus the cash flow is vastly superior to "normal" wind farms."
And, of course, one of the major criticisms of both wind solar generating plants is their dependence on unpredictable circumstances. Combining the nearly constant wave action with highly variable wind strength would make the Grays Harbor installations more effective.
Here are the seven sites for which permits have been requested: California: San Francisco; California: Ventura; Hawaii: Penguin Banks; Massachusetts: Cape Islands; Rhode Island: Block Island; New York: The Hamptons; New Jersey: Atlantic City. The company's website.