Blakeslee’s Cal Poly institute to explore wave energy
January 14, 2014
A Cal Poly institute recently founded by former state Sen. Sam Blakeslee is exploring the potential of wave energy. [Tribune]
In December, the Cal Poly Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to assess the feasibility of wave energy test sites. The institute has chosen locations in Northern Santa Barbara County and Humboldt County to try to harness energy from waves and connect it to California’s grid.
The project will take place over the next year approximately five miles offshore at each location.
The test facilities are expected to generate about 10 to 20 megawatts in power, serving about 12,000 homes. Vandenberg Air Force Base will purchase all of the power generated from the Central Coast location.
“If developed, wave energy could significantly reduce greenhouse gases and reduce the importation of hydrocarbons from dangerous places in the world, as we drive California jobs,” Blakeslee said. “It’s potentially one of the lowest impact renewal solutions — maybe more appealing than solar or wind.”
After completion of the wave energy study, Blakeslee’s team will submit a report to the Department of Energy, which will include cost analysis and discussion of impacts to the environment and fishing.