On October 28, 2010, Pacific Gas & Electric ("PG&E") announced that it was suspending development of its Humboldt WaveConnect Pilot Project (FERC Docket No. P-12779) off of the Northern California coast. The company stated that "several major challenges made the project unviable at its current location and configuation." However, "PG&E remains committed to [wave energy] technology."
In fact, PG&E will continue its work to determine the feasibility of its proposed Central Coast project (FERC Docket No. P-13641). The Central Coast project is proposed in 45 square miles of coastal waters off the coast of Santa Barbara County, California. PG&E submitted its preliminary permit application in December 2009, and was awarded its preliminary permit on May 14, 2010.
The hydrokinetic industry has come a long way in the last few years and some bumps in the road should be expected as the industry works toward the commercial deployment of projects in state and federal waters of the United States. However, the federal government continues to "put its money where its mouth is" when it comes of offshore renewable energy development. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $5 million to eight research projects related to offshore development through a joint solicitation.