New Tidal Power Generator to be Installed in Maine

Maine-based tidal energy company Ocean Renewable Power Co. (ORPC) will soon begin to install its first grid-connected commercial tidal power generator at a 60-acre site in Cobscook Bay 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.

“This is a huge milestone for ORPC and the entire tidal energy industry. It also means that ORPC will continue creating local jobs and increase spending in the regional economy,” said Chris Sauer, ORPC’s President and CEO. “We have received invaluable guidance from the local fishing industry, pilots, and many other marine users, and we thank the citizens of Eastport and Lubec for embracing tidal energy development and helping ORPC succeed.”

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(tm) 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.

Completion of the installation is scheduled to take place sometime through 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.

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