Maine town, developer advance Western, Cobscook tidal plants

The city of Eastport and tidal power developer ORPC Maine LLC formalized a partnership Nov. 14 to advance development of two tidal power projects off the coast of Eastport that would total 42.66 MW.

The city and ORPC Maine, a unit of Ocean Renewable Power Co. of North Miami, Fla., signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on development of the 18.96-MW Western Passage OCGen Power project (No. 12680) and the 23.7-MW Cobscook Bay OCGen Power project (No. 12711), to be deployed in tidal areas of the same names.

ORPC has applied for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission preliminary permits to study the projects. FERC has scheduled a technical conference Dec. 6 on issues surrounding ocean technologies for generating hydropower. (HNN 11/13/06)

Using its proprietary Ocean Current Generation (OCGen) technology, ORPC plans to install a full-scale prototype module in Western Passage in mid-2008. Upon successful testing and monitoring, the developer plans to build commercial scale tidal projects at both sites.

In return for Eastport’s support of the development effort, ORPC is to maximize the amount of work that can be performed locally, identify economic benefits to Eastport, keep the city informed of its activities, and provide public education on ORPC and its projects.

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