The bill aims to put California on the path to developing a new source of clean, renewable energy to help the state meet its carbon-free targets while bolstering its electric grid.
As reported in REM, earlier this summer, the California Senate voted in favor of SB 605 after it was unanimously approved in five separate policy committees.
SB 605, proposed by Senator Steve Padilla (D-Chula Vista), directs the California Energy Commission to work with relevant state agencies to study the feasibility and potential for wave and tidal energy development in California and sets deadlines to report its findings to both the California Legislature and Governor.
SB 605 also calls for the Energy Commission to consider wave and tidal energy pilot projects that “assess the technological feasibility and provide research and demonstration of the technology” in the investment planning process for the Electric Investment Charge programme. The Electric Investment Charge programme is a California Energy Commission program that “invests in scientific and technological research to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector to meet the state's energy and climate goals.”
“To meet our ambitious and necessary climate goals, California needs to explore every new avenue for clean energy” said Senator Padilla. “Wave power is clean, consistent, predictable, and, with over 1,000 miles of shoreline, our state has a unique opportunity to capitalise on this untapped energy source. We need to invest in innovation now to remain a leader in the clean energy future.”
The legislation is sponsored by AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, a 35-acre ocean technology campus that is home of Eco Wave Power’s first wave energy power station in North America. The pilot project, believed to be the first onshore wave energy station to be built in the United States, is set to be installed in the coming months.
“We are pleased that this important legislation continues to make progress through the legislative process” added Inna Braverman, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eco Wave Power. “This progress underscores California’s commitment to quickly implement new and innovative renewable energy sources throughout the state. We offer our continued support of SB 605 through the legislative process – every step forward brings us closer to building more sustainable infrastructure on California’s vast coast.”
California has established 2045 as its deadline to achieve a carbon-free energy grid. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the energy potential in California is 140 TWh/year, which is the equivalent to the power needs of 13 million homes or 69% of California’s 2019 net electricity generation.
SB 605 states that if developed and deployed at scale, wave and tidal energy has the potential to provide economic and environmental benefits to the state and the nation.
“Continued innovation in our policies, technologies, and financing of new clean, renewable energy sources is vital if we hope to achieve our ambitious goals for clean air and a climate-resilient economy” said Terry Tamminen, President and CEO of AltaSea. Tamminen served as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency under former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There is a lot of momentum from both coasts for wave energy in America, with pending legislation also in New Jersey proposed by Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak promoting legislation. The Bill – AB 4483 – encourages New Jersey to explore a deployment plan for wave energy technologies on the state’s coastline and provide funding for feasibility studies and pilot programs. The bill currently awaits consideration from the New Jersey State Senate Environment & Energy Committee.
Image: Inna Braverman, Terry Tamminen and Former Governor Schwarzenegger, in Eco Wave Power’s wave energy pilot at AltaSea, Port of LA, several days before the testimony on Bill 605
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