Hydro Green Energy and the Wind Energy Systems Technology Group announced today that they’ll jointly explore developing the world’s first hybrid offshore wind-hydrokinetic ocean current power projects.
Upon completion of the project, both organizations will utilize the Gulf of Mexico’s wind and water currents to generate nearly 5,000 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity, according to the companies.
Wayne F. Krouse, chairman and chief executive officer of Hydro Green Energy, said officials at his company are excited to explore the Gulf of Mexico with W.E.S.T. and deeply appreciate the interest and enthusiasm in their patented hydrokinetic technology to help firm up offshore wind power.
Noting that an enormous amount of work remains ahead of them and there is still much to learn about the Gulf’s water currents, Krouse said that if the data they gather confirms that the Gulf has the currents needed for utility-scale ocean power, they intend to aggressively move forward to develop the world’s first offshore wind-hydrokinetic power projects.
Under the agreement, Hydro Green Energy will be able to access W.E.S.T.’s platforms and lease areas for data gathering and possible testing, company officials say.
Houston-based Hydro Green Energy, LLC is a renewable energy company that designs, builds, operates and sells hydrokinetic power systems that generate electricity exclusively from moving water without having to first construct dams, impoundments or conduits.
According to company, W.E.S.T. signed a lease agreement with the General Land Office of Texas in October 2005 for its offshore wind projects, which are all located in state-owned submerged lands and waters.
In a bid to secure its exploration agreement with W.E.S.T., Hydro Green Energy reportedly filed 10 preliminary permit applications last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that has the licensing authority over non-federal waterpower projects in the United States. Hydro Green Energy expects the preliminary permits to allow them a three-year exclusive right to develop the hydrokinetic portion of the projects, which are all also in Texas waters.
The companies refer to a 2007 study by the Electric Power Research Institute that indicates the United States could develop at a minimum 13,000 megawatts of river and ocean-based hydrokinetic energy by 2025. This energy will be able to supply enough annual power for roughly 12 million homes, according to the company.
Earlier estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy suggested that with the robust development of new technologies, the U.S. might be able to double its waterpower output.
Hydro Green Energy closed its $2.6 million Series-A funding round in April, and is
now negotiating its Series-B (News - Alert) funding, which is expected to close by the end of the year, according to the company. In order to support the development of its many projects, the company plans to commission a manufacturing facility in 2009. Hydro Green Energy expects this facility to create approximately 100 “green collar” manufacturing jobs.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
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