U.S. developers propose tidal projects totaling 1,700 MW

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering applications filed for preliminary permits to study the feasibility of six tidal energy projects in five states. Projects range from 100 to 600 MW and total 1,700 MW.

The applicants and their projects — all represented by Washington law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP — are:

o Maine: Maine Tidal Energy Co., 100-MW Kennebec Tidal Energy Hydroelectric (No. 12666), Kennebec River, and 200-MW Penobscot Tidal Energy Hydroelectric (No. 12668), Penobscot River;
o Massachusetts: Massachusetts Tidal Energy Co., 300-MW Cape and Islands Tidal Energy Hydroelectric (No. 12670), Vineyard Sound;
o New Hampshire, Maine: New Hampshire Tidal Energy Co., 200-MW Portsmouth Area Tidal Energy Hydroelectric (No. 12664), Piscataqua River;
o New York: New York Tidal Energy Co., 300-MW Astoria Tidal Energy Hydroelectric (No. 12665), East River; and
o Washington: Washington Tidal Energy Co., 600-MW Deception Pass Tidal Energy Hydroelectric (No. 12663), Deception Pass, Puget Sound.

Each project would feature multiple “tidal in-stream energy conversion devices” ranging from 500 kW to 2 MW, with rotating propeller blades, integrated generators, anchoring systems, mooring lines, and transmission lines. The largest of the projects, 600-MW Deception Pass Tidal Energy, would feature 100 to 300 of the devices, the applicant said.

Developers holding preliminary permits maintain a priority of application for a license during the term of the permit while the permit holder conducts investigations and gathers data necessary to determine the feasibility of the proposed project. If the project is found to be feasible, the permit provides time for the permit holder to prepare a license or exemption application.

For information, contact Joseph Cannon, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, 2300 N St., N.W., Washington, DC 20037; (1) 202-663-8000.

EPRI reports on tidal energy feasibility studies

EPRI, the electric power research institute in Palo Alto, Calif., has completed feasibility reports on its studies of tidal in-stream energy in five states and two Canadian provinces: Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington in the U.S., and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada.

While at least one of the FERC permit applications appears to employ a site studied by EPRI, the institute is not involved in the applications, Roger Bedard, EPRI Ocean Energy leader, said.

A number of the EPRI reports already are on the Internet at www.epri.com/oceanenergy. All of the reports are expected to be posted by the end of June.

For information, contact Bedard at EPRI, 3420 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304; (1) 650-855-2131; E-mail: rbedard@epri.com.

Verdant prepares to deploy Roosevelt Island Tidal turbines

The first set of tidal turbines in Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project (No. 12611) is to be deployed in July and August in New York’s East River. The deployment comes several months later than once planned, following receipt of final approval by the Corps of Engineers.

Two 37-kW units are to be deployed in July and four more in August. Results of tests of the units will be used to prepare a license application that will be submitted to FERC.

The New York State Energy Research &Development Authority already has invested more than $2 million in the RITE project, which eventually could include turbines totaling more than 10 MW.

Verdant reports it is surveying a second tidal energy site for the East River, in Buttermilk Channel alongside Governor’s Island. Additionally, the company is pursuing a 1,000-MW project with the California Energy Commission and members of the Association of California Water Agencies that would use canals. Verdant has filed a patent for kinetic hydropower systems that would work in slow-moving canal waters.

In Canada, Verdant said it is working on a river turbine project in Cornwall, Ontario, at two prospective sites with a combined potential for 15 MW. In the United Kingdom, Verdant plans a tidal energy project at the European Marine Energy Center in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Capacity of the project, a commercialization of the company’s tidal turbines, could total 5 MW. Scottish Power is to purchase project power.

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