Studying the potential of ocean wave energy is important to California's environmental future and the ongoing discovery of sustainable, renewable energy sources. PG&E is exploring the feasibility of using wave energy because of the large potential amount of renewable, carbon-free electricity generation that is estimated to exist offshore of PG&E’s 600-mile long coastline. Wave energy could potentially be a major contributor to the supply of economic, renewable energy in California.
About Wave Technology
There are dozens of wave energy converter (WEC) technologies in development that capture the energy of waves in different ways. To learn more about the latest wave energy technologies, visit the European Marine Energy Center’s (EMEC) website. EMEC operates a UK based wave energy test facility, similar to the proposed WaveConnect pilot project.
Learn about PG&E’s proposed WaveConnect™ Pilot Project in Humboldt County, Calif.
PG&E is suspending permitting efforts on the Humboldt WaveConnect Project. The decision was made after several major challenges made the project unviable at its proposed configuration and location.
PG&E thanks and appreciates the many agencies, community groups and wave energy companies that worked on this project for their time and participation. Wave energy holds promise as a future source of clean, carbon free energy for our customers, and PG&E remains committed to the technology as part of our growing and diverse profile of clean energy sources.
In 2007, PG&E began examining the feasibility of using the power of ocean waves to create clean, renewable electricity to meet the state’s goals for energy, and the Humboldt site was selected for a pilot project. Over time, however, significant challenges emerged and costs of the project were higher than projected.
PG&E will continue to seek out cost-effective renewable resources for our customers across California, including wave energy development. The valuable lessons learned through the Humboldt project will help regulators, power providers and local communities understand and deal with the complex issues raised by this promising technology.
Learn about PG&E’s proposed WaveConnect™ Project in Santa Barbara County, Calif.
On April 29, 2011, PG&E formally suspended further activity for the Central Coast WaveConnect project, and filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to surrender the preliminary permit for the project. This permit was for the purpose of investigating the opportunities for developing and licensing a wave energy facility.
PG&E has concluded that it would be infeasible for the company to pursue a FERC license for a wave energy facility at this time, although the valuable lessons learned through the WaveConnect project will help to better inform regulators, power providers and local communities seeking to understand and address the complex issues raised by this promising technology.
PG&E will continue to seek out cost-effective renewable resources for our customers across California, including wave energy development as the industry matures. We thank the many participants who have engaged so constructively in the WaveConnect projects, and we look forward to participating in future activities to help facilitate the wave energy industry to realize the promise of clean, renewable energy for the communities we serve.
Recent Research on Wave Energy
- Developing Wave Energy in Coastal California: Potential Socio-Economic and Environmental Effects (PDF, 5.9 MB), California Ocean Protection Council (COPC) and California Energy Commission (CEC), November 2008
- Summary of PIER-Funded Wave Energy Research (PDF, 5.8 MB), California Energy Commission (CEC), March 2008
- Ecological Effects of Wave Energy Development in the Pacific Northwest (PDF, 2.6 MB), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), October 2007
Wave Energy Converter System Request for Information (RFI)
PG&E is requesting information from Wave Energy Converter (WEC) device manufacturers interested in consideration for the Humboldt WaveConnect pilot project. For more information and instructions on how to submit a response, please see the RFI below. Inquiries to this RFI are due by 12 p.m. on Sept. 29. Final responses are due by Oct. 9.
WaveConnect RFI (PDF, 676 KB)
RFI Manufacturer Questions and PG&E Responses
These are PG&E’s responses to questions received by WEC manufacturers as part of the RFI process. The questions and answers are not intended to modify, affect, replace, or supersede the requirements as stated in the RFI; but are intended to clarify and supplement the RFI.
WaveConnect RFI Q&A (PDF, 17 KB)
Contact The WaveConnect Team
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
77 Beale Street, Mail Code 5BQ
San Francisco, CA 94105