Sunday, February 8, 2009

Finavera Waves Goodbye

Finavera AquaBuOYFinavera Renewables appears to have given up on wave energy, focusing instead on its more successful wind project development business.

Friday it announced that it is abandoning its Makah Bay wave project off Washington state. According to the company's press release [pdf]:

The decision allows the Company to focus its resources on enhancing its near-term wind project portfolio and provide shareholders with a clearer path to revenue in this challenging economic environment.
The company goes on to say that it is "actively" seeking financial and technical partners for its AquaBuOY technology and is retaining all its intellectual property rights. However, after the unfortunate sinking of the AquaBuOY near Reedsport, Oregon in November 2007, and the rejection by the California Public Utilities Commission of its Humboldt County project in October last year, this week's news leaves Finavera with little motion on the wave front.

MendoCoastCurrent reports that the Company requested it be allowed to surrender its license for the project back to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The reason cited by the company reflected a lack of investor and partner confidence:
Due to the current economic climate and the restrictions on capital necessary to continue development of this early-stage experimental Project, the Project has become uneconomic. Efforts by Finavera to transfer the license were not successful. Therefore, Finavera respectfully requests that the Commission allow it to surrender its license for the Project.

The investment prospects for Finavera have undulated plenty over the years. In November Finavera announced a private placement of equity primarily for its wind business and shortly after struck a deal with GE to arrange financing for some of its BC wind projects. The extension of its previously issued and now underwater warrants strongly suggested investor impatience with the pace and direction of the company's progress.

In its press release Finavera concludes by clarifying its plans as a company:

The immediate primary focus remains the continued development of the Company’s wind projects in BC and Ireland through partnerships and/or joint venture arrangements. In the medium term, the Company plans to execute on its project finance agreements and bring the wind energy assets to commercial operation. In the longer term, the Company will continue to assemble a diversified mix of revenue producing, renewable energy assets.

Only "in the longer term" would the company pursue anything other than wind. If there are no internal prospects and no external partners for the AquaBuOY technology, then development will likely cease, clearing the way for competitors such as the Pelamis, already in commercial operation, to prevail.

Digg It! Delicious Stumble Technorati Twitter Facebook

No comments: