U.S. institute awards $300,000 to support tidal power

Maine Technology Institute has awarded $300,000 to tidal power developer ORPC Maine LLC to support commercial development of tidal power to create environmental and economic benefits.

ORPC Maine, a unit of Ocean Renewable Power Co. of North Miami, Fla., announced the award Feb. 20. The developer said it would use the money specifically for detailed engineering of a prototype project, testing, and eventual installation of a full-scale commercial project.

The prototype will use the company’s proprietary Ocean Current Generation (OCGen) technology, which ORPC Maine said it plans to deploy in both Western Passage and Cobscook Bay of Maine. ORPC Maine has submitted applications for preliminary permits for both sites to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ORPC Maine said it plans to build and install a full-scale prototype module in Western Passage in late 2008. Following testing and monitoring, it said it plans to develop, permit, and build commercial-scale OCGen projects at other sites.

In 2006, the city of Eastport and ORPC Maine formalized a partnership to advance development of two tidal power projects near Eastport that would total 42.66 MW �- the 18.96-MW Western Passage OCGen Power (No. 12680) and 23.7-MW Cobscook Bay OCGen Power (No. 12711) projects. (HNN 11/15/06)

�On behalf of the city of Eastport, the home of Cobscook Bay and Western Passage, we’re delighted with this next step forward with this project,� Eastport City Manager Bud Finch said. �The review and subsequent award from the Maine Technology initiative confirms our findings that the ORPC Maine project holds great promise for our environment and economy.�

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