January 2013

First Commercial, Grid-Connected, Hydrokinetic Tidal Energy Project in North America

Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC) TidGen™ device has a rated capacity of 150 kilowatts and generates enough electricity annually to power 25 to 30 homes.

Click to enlarge photo. Enlarge Photo

Image courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Company

ORPC's TidGen™ turbine generator unit.

R&D Opportunity

Advanced water power technologies include devices capable of extracting electrical power from waves, water currents, and ocean thermal temperature differences. They also included technology advancements that would (1) enable cost-competitive development of new hydropower resources such as hydropower projects built on conduit or water conveyance systems, existing non-powered dams, or small-scale pumped storage projects, or (2) lead to improvements in the efficiency and/or environmental performance of existing hydropower and pumped storage facilities.  In FY 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy funded research and development activities designed to accelerate the technology evolution of advanced water power.

Solution

DOE STTR funding was used to refine the Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC) TidGen™ Power System cross flow turbine foils. In 2012 the TidGen™ became the first commercial, grid-connected, hydrokinetic tidal energy project in North America. This is the only ocean energy project, other than one using a dam, which delivers power to a utility grid anywhere in North, Central, and South America.

In late summer 2012, ORPC completed installation of the first TidGen™ Power System at the Cobscook Bay, ME, including a local on-shore station. This first TidGen™ device has a rated capacity of 150 kilowatts and generates enough electricity annually to power 25 to 30 homes.

Impact

After running and monitoring the initial TidGen™ system for a year, ORPC will install additional power systems over the ensuing three years to increase the project's output to up to 5 megawatts – enough electricity to power 1,200 Maine homes and businesses with clean tidal energy. Since 2007, ORPC has invested more than $21 million into the Maine economy through spending in 13 of the state’s 16 counties, and has created or retained more than 100 jobs statewide. This includes over $5 million spent locally and providing employment to more than three dozen contractors, as well as local spending on goods and services.

Contact

Genetta McLean
120 Exchange Street, Suite 508, Portland, ME 04101
GMcLean@orpc.co

Funding

Company Name:Ocean Renewable Power Company
Project Title:Refinement of Cross Flow Turbine Hydrofoils
Award Type:STTR Phase II
Year of Award:2010
DOE Office:Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
DOE Grant Number:DE-FG02-ER86421

Related Links

Ocean Renewable Power Company:  http://www.orpc.co/External link

Highlight Categories

Program: EERE

Last modified: 3/18/2013 10:53:48 AM