BY RAMONA DU HOUX
September 10, 2011
ORPC’s barge with the company tidal turbine docked in Portland. photo by Ramona du Houx
Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) announced that it has submitted its pilot license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project in Maine. The project’s purpose is to test and refine ORPC’s TidGen™ Power System and deliver clean renewable electricity to the grid.
Issuance of the pilot project license will allow ORPC to demonstrate that its TidGen™ Power System can effectively and efficiently generate zero-emission energy without adverse environmental effects. The project will be located in Maine’s Cobscook Bay near the boundary separating the City of Eastport and the Town of Lubec. The project will become the first grid-connected tidal energy project in the state and potentially the first in the nation. Additionally, the project will initiate commercial operations to deliver clean renewable electricity to the grid within the Bay of Fundy, one of the largest tidal energy markets in the world.
“We’re ecstatic to reach this milestone in ORPC’s history. The coming-together of this application involved a huge and dedicated effort by ORPC employees and consultants, and the willing cooperation and pioneering spirit of FERC and many other federal and state regulatory agencies,” said ORPC President & CEO Chris Sauer. “We are pleased to be bringing the tidal energy industry closer to reality in the U.S. working in partnership with FERC, the U.S. Department of Energy and other key government agencies.”
ORPC’s pilot license application may be accessed online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp (Docket No. P-12711) or viewed in person during regular business hours at ORPC’s offices at 120 Exchange St., Suite 508, Portland, Maine, 04101, and 22 Washington St., Eastport, Maine, 04631.
ORPC’s Eastport and Lubec, Maine hub has become an internationally recognized center for tidal energy development where, in 2010, the company completed its successful Beta TidGen™ Power System project, involving the largest ocean energy device ever installed in U.S. waters. The Cobscook Bay effort is part of ORPC’s Maine Tidal Energy Project that ultimately will include sites at nearby Kendall Head and Western Passage too. In the last few years ORPC has spent more than $8 million in Maine, helped create or retain more than 100 jobs and established a supply chain that includes 13 of Maine’s 16 counties.
Headquartered in Portland, Maine, and established in 2004, ORPC is a privately-held, international industry leader in tidal, river and deep-water ocean current power generation technology and projects.
In addition to developing projects at permitted sites in Maine and Alaska, ORPC is partnering on projects in Nova Scotia on the Canadian side of the Bay of Fundy.