Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has extended its portfolio of renewable energy commitments into wave energy. As far as I'm aware, this represents the first commercial commitment to a wave project located in the United States. So far, most of the discernable wave energy projects have been in places like the North Sea and off the coast of Portugal.
The California utility has signed a two-megawatt power purchasing deal with Finavera Renewables for a plant being located off the coast of Northern California. The Humboldt County Offshore Wave Energy Power Plant, which will be located approximately 2.5 miles off the coastline, is scheduled to come online in 2012. The construction will be subject to regulatory approval and evaluation by local interest groups, including fisherman, recreational boaters and environmental groups.
Interested in seeing what Finavera's AquaBuoy's technology looks like in action? The best way is to show you with this video animation the company has posted on YouTube.
The companies estimate that the plant will offset about 245 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Finavera also scored a coup on Dec. 22, when it snagged a federal license for a commercial wave project located off the coast of Washington state. Finavera filed permits with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February 2007 for projects off Mendocino and Humboldt counties. These projects fall under Finavera's WaveConnect initiative.