BOEM Issues First Wave Energy Lease Off West Coast

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it has issued a lease for the first wave energy research project in federal waters off the U.S. West Coast.

The federal marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy research lease was offered to Oregon State University  for the PacWave South project, which is a proposed open ocean wave energy test center. BOEM outlined that the project will consist of four test berths to support the testing of up to 20 wave energy converter (WEC) devices, with an installed capacity not to exceed 20 megawatts, to demonstrate the viability of wave energy.

In a statement posted on its website, BOEM said the lease represents another step forward in achieving the Biden administration’s goals to address climate change and promote offshore renewable energy production.

“This is the first time a lease has been issued to support the testing of wave energy equipment in federal waters off the U.S. West Coast,” BOEM Director Amanda Lefton said in an organization statement.

“Ocean waves contain a tremendous amount of energy, and this opportunity offers exciting potential to demonstrate the viability of wave energy technology and expand the nation’s renewable energy portfolio,” the BOEM director added in the statement.

MHK technology harnesses energy from ocean waves, tides, and currents and converts it into electricity to power homes, buildings, and cities, BOEM highlighted. A WEC device converts the kinetic and potential energy associated with moving ocean waves into electrical or mechanical energy, BOEM noted.

BOEM’s mission is to manage the development of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy and mineral resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way, according to the organization’s website. BOEM manages almost 2.5 billion acres of the OCS, nearly equal the size of the U.S. land acreage, BOEM’s website shows.