Wave power generation is a form of renewable energy in early development that may be an effective and reliable source of power for San Francisco.
Waves Could Power Homes
Wave motion produces energy through the roll, vertical heave or horizontal surge of waves, depending on ocean depth. The roll of waves can move a plate, float or other capture device to power a hydroelectric turbine, piston pump, or other power take-off to generate electricity. A 30MW wave farm would be able to power approximately 30,000 homes at peak usage, or approximately 10% of the homes in San Francisco.
Wave Energy Farms
Wave energy conversion is a nascent technology and we are working on the potential viability of it with a variety of manufacturers and developers. We completed a wave power feasibility study in December 2009 and are now developing conceptual design plans in two locations for a wave energy farm: near-shore and off-shore. It is also working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management regarding regulatory issues and site lease agreements.
VIEW a copy of the wave power feasibility study
Tidal Power Feasibility Study - March 2008
Our Power Enterprise funded a tidal power feasibility study in 2007-08, which studied generation of in-stream power from tidal flows in San Francisco Bay. The feasibility study concluded that a tidal power project in San Francisco Bay would not be commercially viable at this time, due to the following:
- limited size of the resource
- high development costs and
- substantial environmental hurdles to obtain project permits.
However, we still strongly support the development of local, clean, renewable energy resources and continue to track the potential for such energy from waters adjacent and close to San Francisco.
VIEW a copy of the tidal power feasibility study