Tuesday, December 19, 2006

News From My Backyard: BPA to Fund $1 million in Renewables R&D

Federal Agency Issues RFP for Wave, In-stream Tidal, and Wind Integration R&D Projects

[From Renewable Energy Access.com:]

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which plans to finance research on renewable energy with $1 million, is issuing a formal request for proposals (RFP) to the energy industry for advancement of technology that can help manage intermittent renewable power resources.

Funding will specifically advance research on ocean wave and in-stream tidal generation technologies to generate electricity and address how to help tame the intermittent nature of wind power entering the region's electricity grid.

"The existing federal power system uses 31 dams and one nuclear power plant, along with some wind power, to generate emission-free, non-fossil-fuel based electricity for the Northwest," BPA Deputy Administrator Steve Hickok said. "Adding renewable wave energy to the mix, with no associated fossil fuel use or emissions, certainly would fit well with our federal power supply portfolio and could hold promise as our region's electricity needs continue to grow."

Hickok said the opportunity is there for ocean wave and tidal generation technology to garner the same level of popularity and growth that wind power has experienced in recent years. Wind power currently supplies about 3 percent of the region's electricity. Since January 2005, facilities supplying more than 970 megawatts (MW) of wind power have been completed or are under construction in the Northwest and construction of another 660 MW or more is expected within the next two years. Wind project developers have requested integration services with the transmission grid for facilities to add more than 3,000 additional MW of wind power in the region over the next several years.

While BPA estimates that about $1 million will be made available in fiscal year 2007 through this RFP, there is potential for continued funding into future years. This RFP is the first use of the FY 2007 funds that BPA has announced to date. Through the RFP, BPA will fund up to 65 percent of a selected proposal's cost, but not more than $500,000 on a single project.

Resources:

  • Bonneville Power Administration

  • BPA Technology Roadmaps and R&D RFP

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