University of Washington Support of Naval Facilities (NAVFAC)
Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) Advancement Initiative, WA.
NAVFAC’s MHK Energy Advancement Initiative seeks to advance technologies for converting the energy in waves, currents, and wind into electricity for US Naval Facilities. Researchers at the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), based at University of Washington’s (UW) Applied Physics Laboratory, are investigating the capabilities to characteristics of MHK resources and integrate environment monitoring of MHK converter deployments. As part of this effort, 48 NORTH is supporting NNMREC with preparation of the environmental documentation in accordance with NEPA; a nationwide permit application for submission to the USACE; and state permit applications to the Washington Departments of Ecology, and Fish and Wildlife. We are also supporting the Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation to assess the potential impacts to ESA-listed species.
Phase I of the project involved the deployment of a Waverider buoy off San Nicolas Island, California to gain data for a detailed wave resource characterization. To complete the required environmental documentation 48 NORTH prepared a NEPA Record of Categorical Exclusion. Furthermore, 48 NORTH developed the project’s permit application to the USACE, LA District – we received a Nationwide Permit #5 22 hours after submittal of our application.
For Phase II of the project 48 NORTH is currently preparing all federal and state permit applications for in-water testing of scaled MHK devices in Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Washington. Once systems are deployed, we will be supporting the project with environmental monitoring, assessment interactions of the devices with the natural environment. Initial testing of MHK devices is expected to commence in Spring of 2017.