By Ramona du Houx

August 18, 2010

The prototype of ORPC’s ocean energy turbine

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) has successfully generated grid-compatible power from tidal currents at its Cobscook Bay site in Eastport, Maine.

Governor John Baldacci and Congressman Mike Michaud will join Coast Guard Commander Captain James McPherson for a visit to ORPC’s Eastport operation and a demonstration of how tidal energy can be delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard for use at its Eastport station. This would be the first application of tidal energy by a federal agency.

“Our state has the natural resources, technology, and the skilled, hardworking people to become a world leader in tidal energy,” said Congressman Mike Michaud.

The Congressman secured $700,000 in the FY 2011 House energy and water appropriations bill for further research and development of tidal energy in Maine. This funding follows a $1 million FY 2010 investment that Michaud secured last year for tidal energy research and development conducted by the University of Maine and its partners, including ORPC. The Maine Technology Institute, two years ago, awarded ORPC a technology grant for research and development. MTI is supported by voter backed bonds.

“This represents a significant step forward for the development of clean energy here in Maine,” said Michaud. “This announcement, combined with additional research and development funding, will further advance Maine’s position as a leader in ocean energy production. This project in Eastport has the potential to increase energy independence and security, create new jobs, spur investment in Maine and create a model of environmentally sensible ocean energy development.”