I am honored to co-host a webinar on Thursday, November 15 at 1pm Eastern Time (updated!) with the Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Corporation, the first company to send electricity from any type of ocean or offshore wind-power to the United States grid. (Yes, you can still sign up for the webinar.)
ORPC is one of three ocean renewable companies to have blazed, and continue to blaze, a trail in successfully acquiring all the permits and environmental assessments necessary to test their device, TidGen. To get these permits ORPC had to collaborate with scientists, academics, and regulators as part of the adaptive management process.
Adaptive management is a regulatory tool through which regulators require developers monitor their devices and sea life, to collect data, and agree to remove their devices if regulators get skittish of sentient sea life swimming to close to the machines. Regulators employ adaptive management because they do not know what the risks and impacts will be from putting tidal, wave, and wind power devices in the ocean. In short, adaptive management implements the precautionary principle.
As I wrote before, the Precautionary Principle (here, adaptive management) is one factor why renewable power is so slow to develop. People raise the Precautionary Principle for all and any risks they are worried about, no matter how unlikely. But the relevant question isn’t how to avoid risks, rather what is the worst-case scenario if an ocean energy device fails or falls off its moorings? Certainly that scenario is exponentially less catastrophic than a nuclear power plant’s failure as Japan tragically witnessed.
Thankfully, ORPC is ready to talk about how with the right approach, right mindset, and right team in place adaptive management is, well, manageable. Join us on November 15, 1pm EASTERN Time, for a free webinar. Go ahead: risk an hour for the chance to learn something new. What’s the best that can happen? You can sign up here.