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Washington Utility Signs Contract for Power from Wave Energy
AquaEnergy Group Ltd., a wave energy developer, announced in early April that a utility in Washington state has signed a contract to buy all the power from its planned wave energy pilot plant. Clallum County PUD will buy up to 250 kilowatts of power from four wave energy converters-called "AquaBoUYs"-that the company plans to install about 3 miles off the shore of Makah Bay, near the tip of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. AquaEnergy's system uses a moored buoy that captures the kinetic energy of the waves. The company hopes to install and start operating the pilot plant by mid-2004. See the AquaEnergy press release.
The Washington state project recently lost its competition from up north: Canadian utility BC Hydro dropped its plans to test wind and wave technologies on Vancouver Island, saying that both technologies are already being developed commercially and, besides, the power from the projects would be too expensive. Instead, the utility is continuing its resource monitoring. See the BC Hydro Web site.
Denmark, however, remains in the running. The "Wave Dragon" wave energy converter was damaged during its installation in a Danish fjord in March, but according to Wave Dragon ApS, the damages are minor. The prototype's wing-like wave reflectors were removed and towed to a nearby harbor while missing rubber fenders and ruined signal cables on the main platform are being repaired. The reflectors should be reinstalled by mid-May; meanwhile, initial tests are underway on the platform. See the Wave Dragon press releases and photos.