Oregon State University on May 30 ­submitted the final license application to the Federal Energy ­Regulatory Commission for PacWave South [P-14616], a proposed grid-connected test facility for wave energy conversion devices. 

The 1,695-acre test site would be about seven miles west of Seal Rock, between Newport and Waldport on the Oregon coast, in water between 213 and 256 feet deep, and would be the first pre-permitted, full-scale, utility grid-connected wave-energy test site in the U.S.

Plans call for the $55 million project to enter ­operations by 2022.

The application seeks a 25-year original license authorizing construction and operation of the project, with an installed capacity not to exceed 20 MW. Also submitted was an environmental assessment of the project prepared by OSU.

The university said the filing is the ­culmination of more than five years working and ­negotiating with ­multiple agencies and stake­holders in Oregon and beyond, and noted that it “represents a model for ­permitting of future ocean energy projects.”

The facility, formerly known as Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site and rebranded as PacWave in 2018, is independently operated by OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. It will include four berths that can test multiple arrays simultaneously, and up to 20 utility-scale devices ranging from 150 kW to 2 MW in output.

Power generated by the test devices at each berth would be transmitted to the Central Lincoln PUD in Lincoln County, Ore., using buried cables to a grid-­connection point on the shore. Power that the facility uses would be provided by the PUD using an auxiliary cable.

The U.S. Department of Energy would fund ­construction and the first two years of environmental monitoring. Funding for ongoing monitoring in years 3-25 of the license—expected to be $500,000 per year—would be supported by lease revenue from testing clients.

The PacWave project was selected through a ­competitive process, first in 2013 as one of two finalists in a funding opportunity announcement, and then as the finalist in a second FOA released in 2016.

The draft application was submitted in April 2018. 

FERC staff in a in a draft environmental impact statement recommended relicensing the 84.8 MW Bucks Creek hydroelectric project in California’s Plumas County. The study was released June 14 for 60 days of ­public comment. The project, owned by Pacific Gas & Electric and the City of Santa Clara, Calif., consists of the 65-MW Bucks Creek and 19.8-MW Grizzly developments located on Bucks, Grizzly, and Milk Ranch creeks, which are tributaries to the North Fork Feather River [P-619].The licensees propose reducing the project’s ­acreage, from the current 1,540 acres to 1,316 acres. The reduction would use boundary changes that would remove land and roads currently within the boundary not required for project purposes, and that would reduce the shoreline buffer along project impoundments where ­project infrastructure and recreation facilities are in ­proximity to the shoreline.The licensees are not proposing to increase the project’s capacity or make major modifications, the draft EIS said. Relicensing conditions recommended by FERC staff include adding minimum instream-flow r­equirements in reaches of Bucks Creek, Milk Ranch Creek and South Fork Grouse Hollow Creek that are not currently subject to flow standards.The deadline to comment on the draft EIS is Aug. 13, 2019.Bucks Dam was completed in 1929, and the ­Grizzly powerhouse, owned by the City of Santa Clara, was added in the early 1990s. –Rick Adair[15]OSU Files Final Application for Oregon Wave Energy Test Site to FERCOregon State University on May 30 ­submitted the final license application to the Federal Energy ­Regulatory Commission for PacWave South [P-14616], a proposed grid-connected test facility for wave energy conversion devices. The 1,695-acre test site would be about seven miles west of Seal Rock, between Newport and Waldport on the Oregon coast, in water between 213 and 256 feet deep, and would be the first pre-permitted, full-scale, utility grid-connected wave-energy test site in the U.S.Plans call for the $55 million project to enter ­operations by 2022.The application seeks a 25-year original license authorizing construction and operation of the project, with an installed capacity not to exceed 20 MW. Also submitted was an environmental assessment of the project prepared by OSU.The university said the filing is the ­culmination of more than five years working and ­negotiating with ­multiple agencies and stake­holders in Oregon and beyond, and noted that it “represents a model for ­permitting of future ocean energy projects.”The facility, formerly known as Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site and rebranded as PacWave in 2018, is independently operated by OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. It will include four berths that can test multiple arrays simultaneously, and up to 20 utility-scale devices ranging from 150 kW to 2 MW in output.Power generated by the test devices at each berth would be transmitted to the Central Lincoln PUD in Lincoln County, Ore., using buried cables to a grid-­connection point on the shore. Power that the facility uses would be provided by the PUD using an auxiliary cable.The U.S. Department of Energy would fund ­construction and the first two years of environmental monitoring. Funding for ongoing monitoring in years 3-25 of the license—expected to be $500,000 per year—would be supported by lease revenue from testing clients.The PacWave project was selected through a ­competitive process, first in 2013 as one of two finalists in a funding opportunity announcement, and then as the finalist in a second FOA released in 2016.The draft application was submitted in April 2018.