On November 8, 2006, AquaEnergy Group, Ltd. (AquaEnergy) filed an application for a minor license to construct and operate the Makah Bay Offshore Wave Energy Pilot Project (Makah Bay Project or project). The 1.0-megawatt (MW) ocean wave energy conversion project consisting of four wave energy conversion buoys (AquaBuOYs or buoys), a submarine transmission line, and a shore station, would be located in Makah Bay of the Pacific Ocean, about 1.9 nautical miles offshore of Waatch Point in Clallam County, Washington. The project would occupy about one acre of land on the Makah Indian Reservation and about seven acres of lands, collectively, of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary) administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Flattery Rocks National Wildlife Refuge administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and state-owned aquatic lands administered by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. The project would generate an average of about 1,500 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy annually.
On May 2, 2007, Finavera Renewables Ocean Energy, Ltd. (Finavera) filed a letter informing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) that they officially changed their name from AquaEnergy to Finavera.
In this EA, we assess the environmental and economic effects of constructing, operating, and maintaining the project under the following alternatives: (1) the applicant’s proposal (Proposed Action); (2) the applicant’s proposal with our recommended measures (Staff Alternative); and (3) the Staff Alternative with mandatory conditions submitted by NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) (Staff Alternative with Mandatory Conditions). We also consider the effects of the no-action alternative. Important issues that are addressed in this EA include project effects on marine resources, aesthetics, cultural resources, recreation, ocean uses, and land uses.