Wednesday, February 24, 2010

America's First Wave Power Farm Consists of Ten Buoys, Costs $60 Million, Powers 400 Homes [Energy]


Ten 200 ton buoys—each measuring 150 feet by 40 feet—are being installed off the coast of Oregon to build America's first wave power farm. They'll power 400 homes by harnessing "the energy of wave motion." Worth $60 million?

Of course, of course. Clean, renewable energy is almost always worth it. The trouble with wave farms is that they haven't shown much success yet. They're currently about six times as costly as wind farms, are easily damaged by large waves, and the first ones didn't work out so well:

The world's first commercial wind wave farm opened in 2008 in Portugal, but power production was suspended due to financial difficulties. Moreover, two years ago, a Canadian-produced wave power device sank off Oregon's coast.

Yikes. I'm sure that in the long run we'll start seeing positive results, but it looks like the path there will be long and expensive. [USA Today via Good via InhabitatThanks to GitEmSteveDave for catching the typo!]

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