Commercial Wave Power Soon to be Available in California
by Mark R
When I first heard that Pacific Gas & Electric has signed a power purchase agreement with Finavera Renewables for 2 megawatts of electricity that will come from a wave farm, I couldn’t help but wonder what a wave farm is.
I mean, is there some barn where waves are raised to their maximum height? Do the wave farmers drive surfboards and not tractors?
Actually, wave power by Finavera makes a device called an Aquabuoy, that is connected to a long underwater piston. The buoy bobs up and down on the waves, then it pushes the piston, which pressurizes a chamber filled with seawater.
Somehow all of this makes electricity. Not only that, just one Aquabuoy is capable of generating 250 kilowatts, which is enough to power 80 homes. The best part is it can also save us a lot of money in the longrun.
So far, wave power has only been experimental phase. After all, wind and sun power is pretty fickle, but some things in life are as inevitable as the tide.
Oh, that was pretty bad. Did I just say that? Well, there is a need for renewable power, so this is right up anyone’s alley.