octopusgardenWhen you think of the inception of key new technologies, sometimes geography comes to mind.

For example – if I was to ask you what area comes to mind when I say “computer chips” you would probably think “Silicon Valley” in California.  A geographic area like that can become a breeding ground for the (hopefully) successful launch of many projects that yield successful products, services, and outcomes.

Now I ask you to expand your mind a bit and consider that the geographic area does not have to be on land.

In this article from today’s Boston Globe, (by Scott Kirsner) you can read about the intent to create a giant “Wetlab” in the waters to the south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  This effort has already received $1.5 million in Federal grant money.  So it’s beyond the ‘idea’ stage, and in fact is already a project, and is called such in the article.

The official name of this project is the National Renewable Energy Innovation Zone.

The advantage to companies who want to innovate in the areas of ocean-based wind, tidal or temperature-difference energy generation is that they would cut down – perhaps by 66% -  the amount of time and money they have to spend navigating the permitting process.  That’s a lot of red tape to push out of the way.

From the article,

One company already testing a tidal power generation system in Maine is Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. Chief executive Chris Sauer says the company’s next-generation system, which could be in the water and connected to the electrical grid by late 2011, will have turbines moored to the seafloor that will be spun by tidal currents. Located in a bay near Eastport, it will generate enough power for 50 to 75 homes.

Ocean Renewable Power also hopes to be involved in the first project that could be part of the Big Wetlab.

Yes, that’s a small number of homes, but recall the reference to the Silicon Valley.  It was just a tiny chip a fraction of a square centimeter that launched the revolution which provided capability for you to be reading this blog post right now on your computer.

So, here at EarthPM we hope that this project indeed will bring a National Renewable Energy Innovation Zone to this area and it will launch the start of many projects, yielding huge savings in energy, and of course the need for many, many project managers!

Note: click on the image above (or right here) to recall a fanciful Beatles tune roughly (okay…very roughly) on this same topic.