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California’s PG&E Takes the Plunge into Wave Power
Posted By Ali Kriscenski On January 2, 2008 @ 4:58 am In Renewable Energy,San Francisco | 3 Comments
We’ve been following (and fascinated by) developments in wave power technology, from Portugal’s wave farm  to Finavera’s AquaBuoy 2.0 . And now we are thrilled to announce that San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E)  has entered into a long-term commercial wave energy power purchasing agreement (PPA) to use this innovative technology. PG&E is the first US utility company to commit to wave power and expects to start delivering wave-powered electricity into the grid by 2010!
The 15-year contract is with Vancouver-based Finavera Renewables, Inc , who will develop an AquaBuoy  wave park about 2 1/2 miles off the coast of Northern California’s Humboldt County. The expected electricity generation will be a small part of California’s power needs, providing juice for under 2,000 homes, but the deal marks a milestone in the developing market.
While other promising techniques use below-surface motion  and breaking waves , Finavera’s system uses offshore surface waves. The proposed wave park will contain eight AquaBuoys . The buoys will transfer the kinetic energy of the ocean into electricity by pumping water and turning a turbine which powers a generator. The electricity is then transferred to land through an underwater transmission cable.
While this is still an emerging technology, the PG&E commitment gives momentum to the potential of wave power as a viable source of renewable energy. As California utilities reach for 20% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010 , wave power offers a way to capture more energy in less space than other renewable energy technologies, like wind and solar.
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/pge-takes-the-plunge-into-wave-power/
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 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/01/02/pge-takes-the-plunge-into-wave-power/
 Portugal’s wave farm: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/10/01/portugal-builds-worlds-first-commerical-wave-farm/
 AquaBuoy 2.0: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/10/08/wave-energy-aquabuoy-20-wave-power-generator/
 Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E): http://www.pge.com/
 Finavera Renewables, Inc: http://www.finavera.com
 below-surface motion: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/12/10/underwater-power-generating-ocean-turbines/
 breaking waves: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1032148.stm
 renewable sources by 2010: http://www.energy.ca.gov/
 + Finavera Renewables: http://www.finavera.com/
 Via LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-wave19dec19,1,2324757.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
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