Blakeslee’s Cal Poly institute to explore wave energy

January 14, 2014

wave1A 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.

 


12 Comments

  1. rogerfreberg says:

    will they be practicing the ‘Princess wave?’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  2. r0y says:

    But if windmills kill birds, how much marine life will be harmed by this? Remember, even though it might be a great idea, someone – somewhere – will cry fowl… or fish, in this case.

    Still, it’s not really new or revolutionary, as Hydrokinetic energy (or tidal energy) has been around forever and a day (think water wheels to hydro dams). Still, the ocean-current collection method has been tried everywhere from Norway to Pakistan, but almost always looks better on paper. But with each “minimal achievement” (that’s being nice), it does move us forward on the alternate energy path. Anything to move us to real, usable renewable is nice (not renewable like burning wood, which still outputs more than all other renewable combined, but is usually included in the “renewable energy” numbers).

    Would be nice if PG&E could do this off the coast of the Nuke, since we don’t want people/boats/etc. there anyway, and whatever marine life can live with the giant heat-sink the nuke plant needs will likely not be too dissuaded by some rotating turbines.

    I look forward to this, and hope it’s not just another good-ol’-boy back room deal to profit someone’s donors or relatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  3. Shocked in MB says:

    What a great opportunity to set up a wave energy “University extension” at the soon to be defunct power plant in Morro Bay. There is enough space for Students, equipment, etc etc. Morro bay certainly has the ocean waves. Dynergy could probably get some form of tax write-off. That could be a win-win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  4. jrstone says:

    I concur! It’s way past time for this type of “alternative energy” to be instituted. For those who say we don’t have the infrastructure to produce whatever is needed to make this happen I would suggest you look at how me mobilized industry under war. I bet if we plopped down a huge contract with General Motors to produce wind and wave turbines they would retrofit some of their production to meet the need; they are called General “Motors” after all…

    Just sayin’…

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  5. Pete says:

    This is so long overdue.
    A nation unencumbered by idiot politics and fat cat corporatists would have jumped into all forms of alternative energy after the ’73 oil crisis. If we had followed Jimmy Carter’s mandate to be energy independent by 1980 the world would be a different place. But instead that lackey of the far right (and our domestic energy cartels), Reagan, jammed us back along the foolish track of dependence on our dear arab friends. Look where we are now, what a mess (not to mention two unnecessary wars).
    A nation with at least half a brain would be completely independent of carbon based fuels by now. Our complacency, greed and laziness has landed us where we are. I can only hope we will get it together and seek out all forms of alternative energy. And despite what that idiot Cheney told us in 2001, conservation is the best and cheapest way out of the mess we are in. We can all save energy/money in the way we drive, wash our dishes, water our lawns. Save every drop, save every electron you don’t need to use.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

    • Sarah Bellum says:

      Technically those electrons aren’t destroyed with use. I’m positive.

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      • Kevin Rice says:

        Just like water.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • R.Hodin says:

        Electrons are negative

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        • Pete says:

          So is my score with readers. Telling the truth always brings out the crazies.

          Not sure if the comments under mine were tongue in cheek or sincere but it takes a lot of energy to drive electrons around their little wires, just as it takes a lot to drive water through its pipes. And both are pretty critical for life as we know it so wasting either should be discouraged at all stages of civilization.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

          • r0y says:

            Maybe, Pete, just maybe the “alternate energy” was nowhere near achievable in the late 1970’s, so they abandoned it. Plus, there is always a TON more oil to burn than anyone lets on to. Hence, when the “crisis” ended, oil flowed like water once again; and continued to do so in greater quantity each year after (basically), much to the chagrin of the doom-sayers that have been claiming we’re about to run out (they claim that every decade).

            Still, I whole-heartily agree with your comment here: that wasting should be discouraged at all stages of civilization. Spoken like a real, true conservative (something the right and the left seem to have forgotten). Conservation IS conservatism; and vice-versa.

            The best form of recycling is re-use. However, often what ideologues fail to grasp is that the industry will be driven to higher efficiency if the competition is left alone. Obviously with massive government involvement (and it’s getting worse), there is little or no competition anywhere, so we have a bunch of dirty, old-school technology plants that are not as efficient as they should be. No one is allowed to start up a shiny new, high-efficient plant just willy-nilly, so there’s no incentive for those “eeeevil” corporations to tighten their belt.

            I’d argue that it is the progressive/socialist ideals of bigger government everywhere and in all things that led us to this. Not actually having an alternate/different platform (i.e. republicans are democrat lite) to choose from forces us into this corner. Then the very people who put said government socialists into power end up with stifled competition, no incentives, no real breakthroughs.

            If our government was around during Edison’s days, we’d have plants all over forcing Direct Current out to all our houses. Thankfully, the real genius of the day, Tesla, prevailed because no one from government stood in his way.

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