Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oregon is first U.S. site for a wave-power farm

The search for clean, renewable energy is turning toward the ocean, but not without some waves of skepticism.
Construction has begun off Oregon on what would be the nation's first commercial wave-energy farm, said Sean O'Neill, president of the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, a Maryland-based trade association that promotes marine energy. It is planned to supply energy to about 400 homes.

"On a national perspective, it's great news. They're making tremendous progress," he said.

Wave power draws from the energy of ocean surface waves, according to Phil Pellegrino, spokesman for New Jersey-based developer Ocean Power Technologies, which is developing the project.

A float on a buoy rises and falls with the waves, driving a plunger up and down, he explained. The plunger is connected to a hydraulic pump that converts the vertical movement into rotary motion, driving an electrical generator. Electricity produced is sent to shore over a submerged cable, he said.

The first buoy will measure 150 feet tall by 40 feet wide, weigh 200 tons and cost $4 million, Pellegrino said.

Nine more buoys are planned to deploy at a site in Reedsport, Ore., by 2012, at a total cost of $60 million, he said.

Continue reading the full story at USATODAY by Tracy Loew

Our Comments:
This seems to be a very inefficient and expensive source of energy for the following reasons:
1) Anything placed in the Ocean will have more wear then say a solar plant in California, Arizona or Texas.
2) This projects costs $60,000,000, divided by 400 homes, works out to $15,000 per. Divide $15,000 by $95.66, the average electric bill, looks like it'll pay for itself in 1568 months, 12 months to a year, that's 130 years to just break even!

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