Not too far from now, California residents will be receiving eco-friendly energy coming from the coast. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has teamed with Finavera Renewables to construct a “wave farm” to generate clean energy.
Consisting of “wave energy converters” which look like large buoys, energy is generated from waves passing to move the buoy up and down driving a piston anchored to the ocean floor. The piston creates pressure that drives a turbine to create electricity. It’s estimated that a single full-scale Aquabuoy can generate 250 kilowatts to generate power for up to 80 homes. By 2012, they hope to generate 2 megawatts of electricity and further ramp up to 100 megawatts. Compared to solar power and wind turbines, the electricity is cheaper although a bit more costly than coal.
The 100 megawatt farm would acquire a few square miles of ocean which brings up concerns regarding boats getting tangled in the system, including unknown impact to surrounding sea life.