In 2006, a new company called Ocean Renewable Power Comany (ORPC) decided on Eastport, Maine, for its superior tides so that it could manufacture tidal generators. The location was chosen over more well-known destinations, such as Florida, where the company was founded. Eastport was seen as the first step to developing tidal power in the Bay of Fundy, just North of Eastport, which has some of the largest tides in the world.
Moving the Company to Maine & Working with Local Governments
Since it’s inception, Ocean Renewable Power has built up to 100 employees in Maine and invested nearly $15 million in the state, $10 million of which was an investment from the US Energy Department; $4 million of which was used for laying transmission lines to bring offshore produced title power onshore. ORPC had help from the state of Maine, which signed a 20 year contract to permit energy purchases by three Maine utilities: Central Main Power, Bangor Hydro Electric, and Maine Public Service for 21.5 cents a kilowatt hour or about twice Maine’s average electricity price of $11.50 per kilowatt hour.
Initial Beta Installation, Bay of Fundy Plans
ORPC started off with just one tidal generator, which was installed at Cobscook Bay in the summer of 2012, and immediately began providing electricity to the Maine electric grid. ORPC is in the process of expanding to enough units to increase its overall output to 4 MW at two sites off the coast of Lubec and Eastport, totaling more than 60 acres of ocean floor.
This year, ORPC and Nova Scotia’s Fundy Title Inc. are working to install the same units in the Bay of Fundy which has the greatest tidal power potential in North America. The Bay of Fundy experiences an inflow and outflow of 100 billion tons of water a day.
Related articles on IndustryTap:
- Want Energy from Tidal Currents? Go Fly an Underwater Kite.
- The U.S. Surges into the Future of Tidal Energy
- Is Tidal Power the Wave of the Future or a Wipeout?
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