The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will be taking part in the study that will assess the economic feasibility of the installation of wave energy converters in the waters off Yakutat in Alaska.
BOEM will be working with State of Alaska and the Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to complete the research that will, in addition to economic feasibility, also analyze the potential environmental impacts of wave energy converters.
The objectives of the project are to collect scientific and technical data sufficient for complete economic feasibility assessment, as well as to establish firm scientific understanding of seabed dynamics, ambient underwater noise, and fish and marine mammal presence and habitat requirements in the offshore project area of Yakutat.
BOEM and other regulatory authorities will use the newly acquired information to make immediate decisions about the viability and planning of commercial interests in offshore renewable energy projects in Yakutat and other promising locations, including on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Yakutat is a community along the northeast coast of the Gulf of Alaska that is currently considering utilizing renewable, wave based electricity generation in order to decrease their reliance on diesel fuel for electricity generation.
Last year, Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) published a report which found that the Yakutat area in Alaska possesses wave resource which is more than enough to satisfy its relatively modest electrical demand.