On August 13, 2012, Ocean Power Technologies ("OPT"), received some fantastic news when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC" or "the Commission") issued a first-of-its-kind, 35-year license to construct and operate a wave energy project off the coast of Oregon to its subsidiary, OPT Reedsport Wave Park, LLC.  Stoel Rives attorneys are pleased with the FERC order, having worked with OPT to negotiate and draft a comprehensive settlement agreement between the company and 14 state and federal agencies and other stakeholder groups, and to navigate the state and federal permitting and licensing processes. 

Once constructed, the project will have a total installed capacity of 1.5 MW and will consist of ten 150 kW PowerBuoys.  The project will be located approximately 2.5 miles off the coast of Reedsport, in Douglas County, Oregon and will be constructed in two phases.  In Phase 1, a single PowerBuoy will be installed to test the mooring system and device operation and to collect measurements of electromagnetic fields and acoustic emissions.  Phase 2 will be implemented after at least one season of monitoring the single device, at which point the remaining nine PowerBuoys will be installed.  

This is a landmark decision by FERC.  While it has recently issued shorter-term pilot project licenses for tidal energy devices, this is the first 35-year license that the Commission has issued for a marine hydrokinetic energy project of any kind.  Our congratulations to OPT!

For more information, you can access FERC’s order here.  You can also view related information through the Commission’s eLibrary by searching for Docket No. P-12713.