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Oct 082009

From Green Right Now Reports

Ocean waves near Freeport, Texas (Photo: National Weather Service)

Ocean waves near Freeport, Texas (Photo: National Weather Service)

Ocean waves off the coast of Texas may soon provide the first commercial wave power in the US to generate electricity and desalinate water.

Renew Blue Inc. said today that the Texas General Land Office has granted it the first-ever state off-shore wave energy lease. The company said it will use ocean water and waves to produce desalinated water; the first 100 percent fossil-fuel-free bottled water.

Renew Blue, a wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Independent Natural Resources Inc., is the first licensing entity of SEADOG Pump, a technology that uses ocean waves to generate electricity. The company plans to operate in the Gulf of Mexico near Freeport, Texas, to produce 3,000 gallons a day of desalinated water and will bottle and distribute it under the brand Renew Blue.

This will be a small demonstration of what SEADOG Pump technology can do in providing electricity and clean water to regions all over the world that lack fresh water and energy but have an abundance of ocean waves along their coastline.

“Texas is proud to be the initial site of this wave-powered energy innovation,” Rene Truan, deputy commissioner for professional services at the Texas General Land Office, said in a statement. “Renewable energy production on the Texas coast means renewable revenue for the school children of Texas. The SEADOG Pump is another great example of the exciting opportunities that exist and that the Texas General Land Office is working hard to take advantage of.”

Renew Blue will place an off-shore modular platform about one mile off the coast of Freeport, in roughly 25 feet of water. The company said it expects the platform, which is currently being manufactured outside of Houston, to be installed in the fourth quarter of 2009 or the first quarter of 2010.

Independent Natural Resources Inc. said it sees major advantages in the SEADOG Pump system, which is powered solely by the wave energy it harnesses. The company says electric power accounts for 40 to 50 percent of the operating costs in the desalination process, meaning the new pump system should provide significant cost savings and minimal environmental impact compared to the large-scale use of power generated by fossil fuels.

“For the past seven years the SEADOG has been fine-tuned to produce this major accomplishment as the first commercial wave power generation in the US,” Mark A. Thomas, CEO of INRI, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to showcase the SEADOG to the world as an innovative yet simple technology illustrating the ability to extract wave energy at low cost, with high levels of efficiency resulting in immeasurable benefit to humankind.”