The presence of wave energy devices off the Pacific coast of the United States could pose a threat to Pacific gray whales. The whales migrate approximately 15,000 - 200,000 km round trip between their primary feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas and their calving and primary breeding grounds in Baja California, Mexico. Investigations using conceptual and individual-based models may help shed light on the interactions that can be expected.
DeepCwind is a consortium that is planning to launch two direct drive 6 MW Goldwind turbines inside state waters, about 2.8 miles south of Monhegan Island, Maine. The island is home to full-time residents who have expressed interest in the noise effects of the project. To address this issue, the air-based sound attenuation surrounding the site was modeled using WindPRO software. WindPRO software has an extensive database of information on wind turbines from many companies.
The London Array is a massive 630 MW windfarm, comprised of 175 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines located about 20 km from the coasts of Kent and Essex. After 28 months of construction and a €2.2 billion cost, the farm was officially inaugurated on July 4th 2013. Dong Energy (50%), E.ON (30%), and Masdar (20%) are the stakeholders for this project, which will supply energy to an estimated 500,000 homes. It is the largest windfarm ever constructed, followed by UK's 504 MW Greater Gabbard windfarm.
On May 31st, 2013 a project led by the University of Maine deployed a 1:8 scale demonstration turbine off the coast of Castine, Maine. The new 65-foot-tall VolturnUS prototype is composed of a floating concrete base and a light-weight composite tower to help reduce the overall cost of the system. This project is associated with a larger commercial demonstration project called Aqua Ventus I that plans to install a pair of 6-MW floating turbines by 2017.
The Severn Estuary has seen countless proposals for tidal barrage technology dating back as far as 1849. Barrages act as a sort of dam across a bay entrance, collecting tidal energy from low-head turbines. The most recent plans for a 8,640 MW barrage were shot down in 2010 after a two year feasiblity study deemed that there was "no strategic case" for building the project.
Many of the Pacific Islands are highly dependant on expensive diesel for electricity, which creates a perfect opportunity for offshore renewable energy projects. The Aukland-based firm ARGOenvironmental has begun negotiations with the island of Tongatapu to install a 1-MW oscillating water column (OWC) that collects electricity from turbines driven by compressed air caused by waves. The goal is energy at the cost of around 21 cents per kilowatt hour, which is significantly less than the current cost of 35 cents per kilowatt hour.
Tethys has been constructed on the Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) platform, which is the same open-source software that powers Wikipedia. A competition selects and features one website per month that best makes use of the SMW platform in a creative and effective way. Immediately after Tethys was nominated, it was selected as the "Wiki of the Month" for April 2013. Find out more at http://semantic-mediawiki.org/wiki/Wiki_of_the_Month.
Last September, The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), based out Oregon State University with University of Washington as a partner, was awarded the first installment of funding for the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC).
In addition to the new publicly accessible Annex IV information and data on Tethys, the recently released Final Annex IV Report is also available through Tethys. The Annex IV report contains three case studies of specific interactions of ocean energy devices with the marine environment that survey, gather and analyze the best available information in one coherent location.
Last month, the DOE Wind Program announced funding to seven Advanced Technology Demonstration offshore wind projects. Totaling $168 million over six years, the primary goal of these projects are to expedite the deployment of stronger, more efficient and innovative offshore wind power technologies performance while lowering costs. Additionally, the seven demonstrations will help address key challenges associated with installing utility-scale offshore wind turbines, connecting offshore turbines to existing power grids, and navigating new permitting and approval processes.