New Tidal Power Generator to be Installed in Maine

Ocean Renewable Power Co. (ORPC), a Maine-based tidal energy company, is about to install its firs grid-connected commercial tidal power generator near Seward Neck, Lubec.

ORPC hopes to initiate on-water deployment of the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project around May 7, thanks to the issuance of its federal license provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late February.

According to ORPC’s President and CEO, Chris Sauer, is it a huge milestone for the company and the entire tidal energy industry. This project will create local jobs and increase spending in the regional economy.

The project is set to be installed over a period of two years, starting this month as a single-device TidGen Power System will be installed at the Cobscook Bay project site. A buried, underwater power and data cable will connect the TidGen™ device through the inter-tidal zone with an on-shore station that will be constructed on private property at the end of North Lubec Road. Bangor Hydro Electric will also be upgrading the adjacent service line to facilitate electricity distribution to Maine customers.

The project is scheduled to be competed somewhere in June, at which point ORPC will begin performance testing of the system, collecting data on its design, performance, and its interaction with the marine environment. Taking place alongside will continue environmental monitoring and fish studies conducted by the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences.
Mid-2013 will see ORPC aim to install four additional TidGen devices, increasing the installation to a five-device power system with a rated capacity of 300 kilowatts, enough power to run approximately 75 to 100 homes.

Source: Ocean Renewable Power Company