Hawaii has only one site
that meets the Company's criteria. Penguin Bank is a submerged
volcano west of Molokai and southeast of Honolulu. The Bank is
about 20 miles long and 10 miles wide and less than 200 feet deep.
It is capped with sand and fossil corals. The Bank is generally too
deep for most live corals and is a relatively barren habitat
compared to shallower waters nearby. The base rock is lava of the
same kind that forms Molokai Island. Strong tidal currents are
reported at the edges of the bank around the 100 fathom line and
across the bank. This raises the possibility of combining
wind, wave and tidal power on each offshore platform.
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary covers
the proposed area. The proposed technology of fixed structures
cannot entangle whales in cables or lines. However there are
many concerns regarding whales and the Company is fully aware that
this is a particularly challenging proposal.
P- 13307 (click to
download FERC application)
UPDATE April 9, 2009:
FERC and MMS
agree to rule
changes that suspend the FERC preliminary permit system for OCS wave
power projects. The Company permit applications have been
dismissed. No project is possible at this Hawaii site because
leases are prohibited by the Sanctuary rules.
NW 21° 03
N 157° 42 W
NE 21° 12
N 157° 24 W
SW 20° 54
N 157° 36 W
SE 21° 03
N 157° 21 W
Natural Energy Institute was selected in September 2008 by the
US Department of Energy to establish one of two National Marine
Renewable Energy Centers. The grant will be for about $1
million/year for up to 5 years. The project will involve research
and development of technologies that harness the power of waves and
ocean thermal energy conversion.
Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority conducts a variety of
activities to support ocean energy development.
Renewable Energy Development Venture is a new initiative.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in 2004 published
studies on wave energy in Hawaii. The report, E2I EPRI Survey
and Characterization of Potential Offshore Wave Energy Sites in
Hawaii, evaluated nine sites. These did not include Penguin
Bank, we assume because it was considered to be too deep or remote
for a wave power plant. The report has extensive information about
nearly every topic relevant to wave power production. It is
available for download from the
EPRI Ocean Energy website.
EPRI published a subsequent report, System-Level Design,
Performance and Costs Hawaii State Offshore Wave Power Plant.
The design features 180 large WECs of the Pelamis type deployed near
Makapuu Point on Oahu Island that could produce output of 300,000
MWh/year, equivalent to a 90 MW wind plant at 38% capacity factor.
The report contains extensive information about the wave energy and
potential WEC technology, and project economics and development
Hawaii, as might be expected, has a wide variety of ocean-related
industries and a very strong focus on energy independence.
Companies such as
Kolohala Ventures support private sector investment in clean