Maine Maritime wants to create tidal
energy testing center
Feb 14, 2007 The Associated Press
Maine Maritime Academy wants to establish a tidal
power test facility in the waters of the Bagaduce
Officials submitted a formal application for a preliminary,
three-year permit to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission this week.
Maine Maritime Academy, which plans to collaborate
with Cianbro Corp. and other partners, wants to create
a place to test and evaluate different tidal energy
technologies, said Leonard Tyler, the academy'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,"
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-powered power plants.
If the Bagaduce River project is approved, the Tidal
Energy Device Evaluation Center would be only the
second such facility in the world.
In addition to Maine Maritime and Cianbro, partners
include Marinas Power of Houston, which develops and
finances renewable energy technologies, and OceanWorks
International, a Canadian company that designs and
manufactures underwater work systems.
The center would test tidal energy devices that generally
are being developed by small private companies and
academic institutions that have limited resources,
said Mark Cote, chairman of Maine Maritime's engineering
It also would look at the impact of the technology
on marine life, Cote said.
"We believe that this is an environmentally friendly
technology and that there will be minimal impact to
the river," he said.