A Florida university has applied for a lease from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to install and operate a small scale, turbine-test berth about 12 miles off the Fort Lauderdale coast as the next step in making the testing facility a reality. The purpose is for the Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) to investigate the potential of harnessing power from ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream to generate base-load electricity, thereby making a contribution to a broadly diversified portfolio of renewable energy for the nation’s future. BOEM has agreed to move ahead with plans to evaluate the proposal submitted by the SNMREC to lease an area of 17,080 acres for the deployment.
“The center is taking a systems approach to the implementation of at-sea and in-lab testing capabilities for commercial turbine prototypes,” said Sue Skemp, executive director of FAU’s SNMREC. “The release of this environmental assessment by BOEM is an important step forward.”
The agency will provide an environmental assessment that considers the effects of issuing a lease for testing equipment for public review and input. This is the first lease application the BOEM has received for testing ocean current equipment and if approved would last five years.
Florida Atlantic University
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