You are here

First US commercial tidal project initial stage complete

ORPC marine project will be first to connect to US grid and generate tidal power

The first US commercial tidal project will be in Maine
The first US commercial tidal project will be in Maine

The first commercial tidal project in the US has completed its initial set up stage. The Ocean Renewable Power Company’s “Maine Tidal Energy Project” will be the first marine project to connect to the grid in the country.

ORPC’s “TidGen” turbine generator unit has been deployed to the site at Cobscook bay, Maine, completing the first phase of the project. ORPC expects to have the TidGen Power System installed by late summer this year. The company said the turbine will begin delivering electricity to the grid by October.

The TidGen Power system is designed to generate electricity in depths of 50 to 100 feet and will connect to an onshore substation via a single transmission line. The turbine generator unit (TGU) installed in the system will generate up to 150 kW in a 6 knot water current.

To further the Maine Tidal Energy Project in coming years, ORPC plans to install additional TGUs into the TidGen system, and expand the technology to other sites.

ORPC said: “In autumn 2013, ORPC plans to install four additional TidGen devices at

this site, creating a five-device TidGen Power System with a design capacity of 900 kW, enough to power over 100 homes. In addition to Cobscook Bay, ORPC’s Maine Tidal Energy Project includes expansion into nearby Eastport- and Lubec-area tidal energy sites in Western Passage and Kendall Head, Maine. When completed, the project will generate up to 4 MW of clean, renewable electricity, enough to power over 1,000 homes.”

Chris Sauer, ORPC’s president and CEO, added: “We are very excited for ORPC, the state of Maine, and the entire tidal energy industry. This means that ORPC will continue without pause towards our commercialisation goals, and will further expand our creation of local jobs and economic benefits in the regional economy.”