Plan would have put up to 680 wave energy devices off Mendocino’s Coast
By David Gurney www.noyonews.net
Another plan to harness power from Mendocino’s wild coast line has failed. GreenWave Energy Solutions, LLC was denied a preliminary permit for the proposed “Green Wave Mendocino Wave Park Project” for failing to work “in good faith” with the governing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC.
Listed in the permit application were plans to install 150 to 680 wave energy converters along 17 square miles of ocean – centered directly off the scenic town of Mendocino. According to the proposal, the devices would have been as close as half a mile to the Mendocino shore. The 2.5 by 7 mile stretch of ocean planned for wave power development, was also directly offshore of 2 recently enlarged “Marine Protected Areas” (MPAs) – created by the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, to protect sensitive marine resources.
After initially applying for and receiving a three-year preliminary-permit in May, 2009 Green Wave, LLC consistently failed to meet the regulatory requirements for their project. The company either filed late, or did not file at all, the progress reports and necessary documents.
According to a FERC document, GreenWave, “failed to timely file two six-month progress reports and neglected to file its NOI (notice of intent) and PAD (pre-applicationdocument) as required by its permit.” FERC cancelled Green Wave’s permit in September, 2010.
The lax company re-applied for the same permit one year later, in September 2011, and was met with a wall of local opposition as they did in their original attempt. Critics coined the company’s plot as “ocean industrialization.” FERC rejected Green Wave’s application July 19, 2012 and responded with it’s own criticisms, citing a lack of due diligence.
“When a prior permit for the same site is cancelled, it creates a presumption that the permit holder did not pursue its proposal in good faith and with due diligence…Commission staff gave GreenWave notices of probable cancellation on two occasions before canceling GreenWave’s prior permit,” writes Vince Yearick the Acting Director for FERC’s Division of Hydropower Licensing.
The denial also cited community concerns over potential site banking-sitting on the claim to the ocean area and leasing or selling it to another interested company.
Several ocean advocacy groups filed comments and requests to become stakeholders in the process. The Ocean Protection Coalition, FISH-Fishermen Interested in Hydrokinetics-and the city of Fort Bragg and Mendocino County were among those to file for stakeholer status.
“Many intervenors are concerned that GreenWave lacks genuine intent and resources to develop the proposed project and may instead be engaged in site banking. Intervenors also expressed concern that construction and operation of the project would adversely impact marine species and associated habitat, the local fishing and tourism industries, recreational and visual resources, and public safety,” reads the letter denying GreenWave’s latest permit application.
GreenWave Energy Solutions, LLC has 30 days, until August 20th to appeal the decision.