Our Work

Our Work

OPT Reedsport

OPT Reedsport

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) and HDR/DTA engaged H. T. Harvey & Associates in the collaborative process to permit and conduct baseline studies for a 1.5 megawatt, grid-connected wave power park consisting of ten Powerbuoy wave energy converters, harnessing the potential of wave energy as a renewable resource in coastal waters off Reedsport, Oregon. This project is the first wave energy project successfully permitted in the U.S.

To successfully obtain the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing for the proposed wave park, the gathered team of experts had to respond to concerns from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and others, regarding the potential effects of the project on marine biota in the project area.

In order to address uncertainties about potential environmental effects, H. T. Harvey & Associates met and worked collaboratively with OPT and the resource agencies to negotiate and develop the fish and invertebrates study plan. The plan identified the objectives, methods, and monitoring approaches to address baseline conditions and evaluate effects of the proposed wave park on fish (both pelagic and benthic fish assemblages and specific species of concern such as salmonids listed under the federal Endangered Species Act), biofouling communities, and benthic invertebrates (including commercially valuable Dungeness crab). The study was able to successfully identify the indicator species and habitats that may be affected by offshore wave energy converters in Oregon coastal waters, the pathway for potential effects, and the sampling design and statistical approach for studies. Our team also assisted in the development of the adaptive management strategy that was integral and critical to the settlement agreement for the FERC license, which was granted in August 2012. Additionally, we attended meetings with OPT and NMFS to provide assistance during the development of NMFS’s Biological Opinion.

H. T. Harvey & Associates, under contract to the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, conducted initial baseline surveys for fish and invertebrates at the Reedsport OPT Wave Park site and at two control sites in 2009. The statistically rigorous field study was conducted in collaboration with local fishers and Oregon Sea Grant, and included tagging Dungeness crab to evaluate movements in the project area, as well as establish the level of sampling effort necessary to detect significant changes to populations.