The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has gotten an unsolicited offer from the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University (NNMREC-OSU) to acquire an Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease for marine hydrokinetic (MHK) research activities.
The bureau, in a notice to be published in the March 24 Federal Register, is seeking comment on the application and soliciting submissions of indications of interest in obtaining a renewable energy lease for MHK research or commercial activities on the OCS offshore Oregon in the area that university has applied for.
The area is southwest of Newport, Oregon. The project would consist of four test sites (or berths), with each test berth capable of testing single or multiple MHK devices and equipped with its own subsea cable to transmit energy, as well as performance and environmental data, from the test berth to an onshore control center. Each of the test berth electrical cables would connect at a single submerged point, with a single transmission export cable capable of transmitting up to 10 MW to the mainland. The export cable would cross the OCS and state submerged lands.
Responses to this March 24 public notice will allow BOEM to determine whether there is competitive interest in acquiring an OCS MHK lease in the proposed lease area. In addition, this notice provides an opportunity for interested stakeholders to comment on the proposed lease area, the proposed project and any potential impacts MHK energy development may have in the area. BOEM said it may use comments received to further identify and refine the area requested and inform future environmental analyses related to the project.