Two California-Based Firms to Advance Marine Energy Sector with New Wave Energy Collaboration


In October 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that mandates the California Energy Commission (CEC) to evaluate the feasibility, costs, and benefits of wave and tidal energy. This bill also calls for identifying suitable sea space for such projects in state and federal waters. The bill received unanimous approval from both the California State Senate and Assembly.

Support and Recommendations:

  • CalWave and National Hydropower Association (NHA) Recommendations
    • Quantify savings for California ratepayers by integrating marine energy technologies into the grid.
    • Provide matching funds for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awards and investments in technology research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D).
    • Clarify state regulatory processes for marine energy project deployment and encourage similar actions from federal agencies.
    • Implement market-pull mechanisms, such as feed-in tariffs and contracts for difference, similar to early wind and solar industrialization phases.
    • Ensure the $426.7 million investment from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in Humboldt Bay Harbor supports the marine energy sector.
    • Set statewide marine energy deployment targets: 100 MW by 2030, 500 MW by 2035, and 2,500 MW by 2040.

Port of Los Angeles and AltaSea’s Role:

  • The Port of Los Angeles, the busiest seaport in the Western Hemisphere, aims to become a hub for offshore renewable energy.
  • AltaSea’s Contribution:
    • Offers 180,000 square feet of incubator space on 35 acres in a sheltered harbor.
    • Focuses on regenerative aquaculture, renewable energy, blue technology, and underwater robotics.

Collaborative Efforts:

  • AltaSea and CalWave Partnership:
    • AltaSea President and CEO Terry Tamminen expressed excitement about expanding the wave energy coalition with CalWave, a leading wave energy system company.
    • The partnership aims to support the CEC in implementing SB 605, harnessing wave energy’s full potential along California’s coast, and establishing a local industry for exporting wave energy technology globally.

California’s Offshore Wind and Wave Energy Targets:

  • California aims to achieve 25,000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2045, with 4,600 MW already leased to developers.
  • Implementing recommendations and marine energy deployment targets will position California as a global leader in wave energy projects.

Port of Los Angeles’ Strategic Role:

  • The Port of Los Angeles is set to play a crucial role in the construction and operation phases of offshore wind in the state.
  • CalWave’s Vision:
    • Co-founder and CEO Marcus Lehmann highlighted the benefits of combining floating offshore wind and wave systems.
    • Recent studies indicate higher joint capacity factors, more local jobs, and increased utilization of offshore lease areas.
    • CalWave sees potential to export its wave energy technology globally, made in California.

Partnership with CorPower Ocean

  • In September 2023, CorPower Ocean signed a MoU with AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.
  • The agreement grants CorPower access to facilities and resources at AltaSea’s campus, located in the nation’s busiest seaport.

The new wave and tidal energy bill and the collaborative efforts of organizations like AltaSea and CalWave mark a significant step forward for California’s marine energy sector. With ambitious targets and strategic partnerships, California is poised to become a global leader in wave energy technology and offshore renewable energy.

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Source: Offshore Energy