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Finavera Renewables Makah Bay Wave Energy Project, OR

STATUS: Canceled

TYPE: Wave Energy

OPPOSITION: Washington Department of Ecology

PROSPECTS: Dead

BACKGROUND: Finavera Renewables filed an application to construct the Makah Bay project, a 1-MW offshore wave power demonstration plant, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in November 2006. The project is expected to generate 1500 MWh/year, enough energy to supply about 150 homes.

In December 2007, FERC licensed the project, which was estimated to be completed by 2011.

In January 2008, The Washington Department of Ecology ("Ecology") filed a petition requesting that the FERC rescind the project’s license.  Ecology alleged FERC violated section 401 of the Clean Water Act ("CWA") by issuing Finavera's license before Finavera obtained a section 401 water quality certification issued by Ecology or Ecology waived its authority to issue such a certification.  On March 20, 2008, FERC amended the license to allow construction of the project to proceed as the necessary conditions had been met.   In May 2008, Ecology appealed a FERC order confirming its ability to issue "conditioned" licenses for ocean, tidal and other new hydrokinetic technology licenses. Ecology filed its petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging FERC's decision to issue a conditioned license to Finavera Renewables for the project.

In February 2010, Finavera filed the application to surrender the license. The company said the project was not economically viable. It cited an unfavorable economic climate and restrictions on capital necessary to continue project development. The company added efforts to transfer the license were unsuccessful.

SOURCES:  Finevra Reneables: http://www.finavera.com/files/2006-11-03%20Finavera%20Renewables%20Makah%20Bay%20FERC%20Licence.pdf;
Seattle Times:http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008399727_oceanenergy17m.html; http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004085547_waveenergy21m.html;
The Free Library: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Makah+Bay+Offshore+Wave+Energy+Pilot+Project+Completes+Environmental…-a0153965528;
Hydro World: http://www.hydroworld.com/index/display/article-display/0630646985/articles/hrhrw/hydroindustrynews/ocean-tidal-streampower/finavera-surrenders.html;
Stoel Rives LLP: http://www.stoel.com/showalert.aspx?Show=2908

Last updated November 24, 2010