Utility PG&E agrees to buy electricity from future wave-power farm
The utility Pacific Gas & Electric this week became the first power company in the United States to sign a deal agreeing to purchase electricity generated by wave power. The wave-power farm that would generate said electricity is still years from completion — not to mention government approval — but securing a power buyer is seen as an important step. In the first phase of the project, slated for completion by 2012, eight specially equipped buoys located two and a half miles off the coast of Northern California will together generate up to two megawatts of power. If all goes as planned and the project is granted the necessary approvals, it could be expanded to produce up to 100 megawatts. In other renewables news, the largest photovoltaic solar array in the U.S. opened this week at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nev. The 140-acre farm is expected to generate up to 30,000 megawatt-hours of electricity a year, or about 25 percent of the base’s power use.