Douglas County is finalizing a $13,000 contract with an Irish consulting firm to study whether the county can harness wave energy off the coast of Reedsport.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the Reedsport project permission to enter the “licensing phase” last year.
Ron Yockim is a consultant to Douglas County. He says the agreement with Belfast-based RPS Consulting may lead to a thumbs-up or down on the project.
Ron Yockim: “This contract that we’re getting prepared to issue is one that’s probably critical. It allows us to do not only an energy analysis, that says what the size of the wave is, what the energy components are, but it’s also a critical force in terms of looking at what the design should be of this project.”
Yockim says the project as envisioned would generate one to three megawatts of electricity. It would generate that energy by harnessing the movement of water in a stationary column. That’s different from the floating buoy technology in development elsewhere.
Douglas County is also studying the potential effects the wave project would have on the environment, economy, and local recreation.
By Rob Manning, OPB NEWS – http://news.opb.org/article/4231-douglas-county-wave-project-rolls-forward/