California’s Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is seeking a federal licence for an experimental wave power project off the coast of Eureka in Northern California.

The 5MW project will enable PG&E to test a set of emerging technologies that use the motion of waves to drive a generator and produce electricity.

PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris told Reuters that there is potential for renewable energy off the coast of California.

“It could be a huge benefit to our customers,” Morris said.

The 5MW project, which will need $50m to build infrastructure for power transmission, monitoring and other equipment, has attracted interest from a number of firms.

PG&E expects to receive a licence from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by June 2011, reports Reuters.