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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

Pacific Gas & Electric, PG&E, Finavera, AquaBuoy, wave power, wave park, renewable energy, California, Eureka, Humboldt County, ocean energy, kinetic energy, pge1.jpg [1]

We’ve been following (and fascinated by) developments in wave power technology, from Portugal’s wave farm [2] to Finavera’s AquaBuoy 2.0 [3]. And now we are thrilled to announce that San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E) [4] 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!


Pacific Gas & Electric, PG&E, Finavera, AquaBuoy, wave power, wave park, renewable energy, California, Eureka, Humboldt County, ocean energy, kinetic energy, pge2.jpg

The 15-year contract is with Vancouver-based Finavera Renewables, Inc [5], who will develop an AquaBuoy [3] 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 [6] and breaking waves [7], Finavera’s system uses offshore surface waves. The proposed wave park will contain eight AquaBuoys [3]. 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 [8], wave power offers a way to capture more energy in less space than other renewable energy technologies, like wind and solar.

+ Finavera Renewables [9]
Via LA Times [10]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/pge-takes-the-plunge-into-wave-power/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/01/02/pge-takes-the-plunge-into-wave-power/

[2] Portugal’s wave farm: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/10/01/portugal-builds-worlds-first-commerical-wave-farm/

[3] AquaBuoy 2.0: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/10/08/wave-energy-aquabuoy-20-wave-power-generator/

[4] Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E): http://www.pge.com/

[5] Finavera Renewables, Inc: http://www.finavera.com

[6] below-surface motion: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/12/10/underwater-power-generating-ocean-turbines/

[7] breaking waves: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1032148.stm

[8] renewable sources by 2010: http://www.energy.ca.gov/

[9] + Finavera Renewables: http://www.finavera.com/

[10] Via LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-wave19dec19,1,2324757.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

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