The lease would be the first limited lease granted for the purpose of testing experimental hydrokinetic devices that produce energy from ocean and tidal currents on the outer continental shelf. The applicant, Florida Atlantic University, hopes that the lease will lead to the development of successful power-producing hydrokinetic instruments that can be deployed for commercial energy production. The proposed lease area is 17,080 total acres and is located approximately nine to 15 nautical miles offshore Fort Lauderdale.
Law360 published an article including additional details about the project and featuring the following third party commentary from yours truly:
Energy and project finance attorneys are keeping a close eye on new hydropower technologies, like the ones Florida Atlantic University seeks to test, according to Jennifer Simon Lento of Nixon Peabody LLP, an attorney who writes an offshore energy blog.
Despite advances in land-based wind and solar power, the U.S.' enormous clean energy resources remain underutilized, and efforts to increase offshore energy production deserve support, Lento said.
“This is a very important intermediary step to progressing a new ocean-based energy technology, but it's still an early step," Lento said. “Any time I see the government clearing the way to allow one of these other technologies to move forward, it can only be a good thing.”