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SEADOG Pump Harvests Clean, Renewable Wave Energy from Gulf of Mexico

Renew Blue gains permit from Army Corps of Engineers to build renewable wave energy installation in Gulf of MexicoThe contrast could not be more extreme.  This week, as British Petroleum’s undersea oil gusher continued to flow uncontrolled into the Gulf of Mexico, fouling the Louisiana coast and threatening other states, Independent Natural Resources, Inc. announced that it has passed a critical milestone in constructing a new wave energy installation in the Gulf off the coast of Freeport, Texas.  The installation, engineered by INRI’s wholly owned subsidiary Renew Blue, is designed to use clean, renewable wave energy to power a desalination plant.

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The project will use the SEADOG Pump system, which uses no blades or turbines to extract power from waves.  CleanTechnica has followed Renew Blue’s wave energy project since last fall, and overcoming this latest hurdle – obtaining a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – could open the door to numerous other wave energy projects in the future.

Wave Energy and Corps of Engineers Permits

Renew Blue was waiting on the issuance of a Section 10 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, which was required under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, considered the oldest federal environmental legislation in the U.S.  The Act has been modified many times over the years.  Section 10 applies to wharfs, piers, jetties and other structures proposed in, on, or under navigable waters.  Though the goal is limited to preventing the obstruction of waterway transportation, Renew Blue’s Section 10 permit also includes an environmental monitoring and reporting requirement.

The SEADOG Pump System

As with all wave energy harvesters, the main attraction of the SEADOG Pump system is the fact that it can draw an endless supply of renewable, non-polluting energy from the sea.  This particular system differs from many other wave energy projects because it generates energy by enabling water to be drawn in and discharges passively through valves, minimizing harm to sea life.

Image: Ocean wave by Hamed Saber on flickr.com.

 
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Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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