A planned tidal energy project off the coast of Washington state in the US has come under fire over the lack of a standard defining how close such projects can be to existing underwater cables.
>There is currently no U.S. standard for the distance tidal energy projects need to be from other subsea installations. The Federal Communications Commission has stated that neither it nor FERC has the expert guidance necessary to make an informed decision about what a safe separation distance would be. The FCC has charged an advisory committee, the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), to work with the industry to develop guidance, delegating a special submarine cable working group to address the issue.
Distance guidelines do exist for offshore wind turbines in the U.S. The FCC and industry groups have suggested that these standards, which require 500 metres between offshore wind turbines and submarine cables, should be used in this case.
In its comment to the FERC, Pacific Crossing invoked a UK guideline, Subsea Cables UK Guideline number 6, which recommends proximity limits of 200-400 metres from an existing subsea structure for marine energy development. The North American Submarine Cable Association has urged U.S. regulatory agencies to apply the UK guidelines to all U.S. marine energy projects, including tidal energy projects.<
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