Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Waves of Energy

Over the river and through the waves to San Francisco here I come. While surfers have collectively been magnetized to the west coast, an attractive site about 5 miles from the city's western beach is being scoped out for the Ocean Wave Energy Project. And it's simply that - a sustaino project investigating the potential of wave energy generation from the Pacific Ocean. For clarification, this is not tidal power.

For years, man has been trying desparately to harness energy from the earth's natural resources. Even water, while predictable, is not always controllable due to temperature variations, wind resistance, weather disturbances and lack of technology. While we certainly don't have a shortage of technology now, BioPower Systems, is one-upping our nation's green attempts through the integration of biomimicry. Inspired by the creatures it will live with, bioWAVE's modular wave system will be considered for the proposed Ocean Wave Energy Project and may lead to further project development, according to John Doyle, acting manager of infrastructure at San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Thanks to heart-thrub, Mayor Gavin Newson, his leadership and vision to making San Francisco profitable, productive and sustainable, has put forth a new meaning to Triple Bottom Line while showcasing multiple city case studies.

These specific bioWAVE units, developed for 250kW, 500kW, 1000kW capacities, will connect to a utility-size power grid via subsea cables. It is predicted that the same Californian waves that boogie-up surfers could generate between 10MW and 100MW of power. That’s enough energy to power between 3,000 to 30,000 homes annually.

Source: Ode Magazine - Intelligent Optimists, 2009

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