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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has shot down a proposal by retired Orange County engineer Chong Kim to generate power by harnessing the energy of waves off the coast of San Onofre near San Diego County’s northern border, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

Kim’s plan, which involves installing thousands of wave generators about a mile offshore, could have potentially generated 3,186 megawatts of electricity, significantly more than the 2,200 megawatts that could be generated by both currently licensed nuclear reactors at San Onofre, were they currently in operation.

Despite the large potential source of renewable energy, the project has faced stiff opposition from environmental groups, surfers, and anglers in the area. They argue the project could harm marine life, block access to popular fishing spots, and alter wave patterns at the famous surf break near the shore.

It appears the downfall of Kim’s plan was a proposal to build the generators first and complete required studies later, using the sale of power generated to offset their cost. “It would take a lot of money to complete the study, and we are not able to pay,” Kim said in an e-mail to the Times.

photo source: kpbs.org

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