Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tidal power test facility proposed for Maine river

Maine Today
Thursday, February 15, 2007

CASTINE - Maine Maritime Academy wants to establish a tidal power test facility in the Bagaduce River.

Officials submitted a formal application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week for a preliminary three-year permit.
Maine Maritime Academy, which plans to collaborate with Cianbro Corp. and other partners, wants to create a place to test and evaluate tidal energy technologies, said Leonard Tyler, the college's president.

"This is a way in which we can expand our service as an educational resource, by providing a means to inexpensively and efficiently test the feasibility of renewable energy devices in Maine and other places," he said.

There's growing interest in tidal energy.

Last year, the Electric Power Research Institute concluded that the tidal movement at three sites, including one in Maine, can produce electricity at a cost that competes with wind power and natural gas power plants.

If the Bagaduce River project is approved, the Tidal Energy Device Evaluation Center will be only the second such facility in the world.

In addition to Maine Maritime and Cianbro, the partners include Marinas Power of Houston and OceanWorks International, a Canadian company.

The center would test tidal energy devices that generally are being developed by small companies and academic institutions that have limited resources, said Mark Cote, chairman of MMA's engineering department.

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