First Commercial Hydrokinetic Projects Approved in U.S.

First Commercial Hydrokinetic Projects Approved in U.S.

First Commercial Hydrokinetic Projects Approved in U.S.

In October 2, 2012, the Energy Information Administration announced that two types of hydrokinetic energy technologies were approved for commercial development.  The new technologies can generate and store electricity from ocean waves, tides, and river currents.  

The projects will not add major amounts of power to the grid in the near future, but the technologies are steps toward a goal of reducing dependence on fossil fuels.  Federal regulators approved two licenses for wave power buoys off the coast of Oregon and underwater turbines that are powered by the East River in New York City.  
A wave power buoy is a new type of technology that harnesses energy from the waves as the machine moves up and down.  The power is transferred to an underwater cable and sent to the grid on land.  The underwater turbines use currents from rivers or a similar water system that spin blades to create electricity.  Original underwater turbines uses currents from dams or direct flow, but the new technology can use currents from rivers, the ocean, and even tides.  
The project in New York City, called the Roosevelt Island Tidal Project, was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January of 2012.  The project will build about 30 hydrokinetic generators at the bottom of East River that can produce enough energy to power about 800 homes.  
The project off of the Oregon coast, called the Reedsport Wave Park power station, was approved by the FERC in August of 2012.  The project consists of 10 buoys that can connect generate about 1.5 megawatts of electricity from the waves alone.  The energy can power about 1,200 homes.  
Again, the technology is in the beginning stages of development, but the power is more predictable than wind or solar forecasts.  
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration




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