San Francisco to seek energy from tide
Jun 20, 2007, 20:43 GMT
San Francisco - The city of San Francisco plans to try tapping the energy of the strong tidal currents under the Golden Gate Bridge to generate electricity, it was announced Wednesday.
Mayor Gavin Newsom signed an agreement with public utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co to conduct the largest study to date on producing emission-free power in the busy waterway that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.
The year-long 1.8-million-dollar study will analyse the Bay's energy potential, review the technologies needed to capture energy from tidal flows, assess the costs of the project and evaluate its possible environmental impacts with a view to developing a full-scale commercial project.
If successful, the study is expected to lead to a pilot project in which an underwater turbine resembling a windmill would be installed and tested. If studies are successful, it would be at least three to five years before a large-scale project begins operation, officials said.
'This is not science fiction,' Mayor Gavin Newsom said at a signing ceremony next to the Golden Gate Bridge. 'The future is today. The technology exists.'© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur