East Anglia One Offshore Wind Farm Approved

Consent has been granted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in the UK for the East Anglia One Offshore Wind Farm project. This is a significant piece of work that should be capable of generating 1,200 megawatts of electricity. This will be enough to power around 820,000 homes.

It is planned that the wind farm will consist of up to 240 wind turbines and will cover an area of approximately 300km2.

Offshore Wind Farm

Located Off the Suffolk Coast

The wind farm will sit in the southern North Sea and it is expected that the project will be the first of up to six such projects planned for the region.

Joint Venture

The project is a joint venture between Scottish Power Renewables which is a subsidiary of Spanish Energy firm Iberdrola and the Swedish utility Vattenfall.

Construction To Begin in 2017

Following a final investment decision, it is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2017, with offshore work starting in 2018 and first power generation achieved in 2019.

It is estimated that the project could be responsible for generating around 1,800 local jobs to the area as well as pumping up to £500 million (US$847 million) into the region’s economy. This can be further broken down to be around £100 million each year of construction.

ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall expect that up to 170 engineers and technicians would be required to provide operations and maintenance support for the project once completed.

Proposed Wind Farm Facilities

The project will involve the installation of far more than the planned 240 wind turbines. It will also include:

  • Up to three offshore collector stations and two offshore converter stations. This will transform the electricity to a suitable form for it to be transferred to shore.
  • Up to four seabed cables to transfer the electricity. These cables could measure up to 73km in length.
  • A landfall site with onshore transition pits to connect the offshore and onshore cables.
  • Up to four onshore cables that could measure up to 37km in length. These cables will transfer the electricity to an onshore converter station.
  • An onshore converter station adjacent to the existing substation at Bramford, Suffolk. This station will be the connection to the National Grid.
  • As many as eight cable ducts. These will be put in place to cater for the East Anglia One project as well as two future projects and will connect into Bramford Substation.

Quotes From Participating Parties

“East Anglia and the rest of the UK have a lot to gain from this development. The project has the potential to inject millions of pounds into the local and national economies, and support thousands of green jobs. Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial in creating job and business opportunities, getting the best deal for customers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports,” said U.K. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey.

According to the CEO of Scottish Power Renewables, “This is the largest renewable energy project ever to receive planning consent in England and Wales, and it is a significant achievement to see our plans approved, and an important step forward towards a final investment decision. Our project team has spent more than three years planning the details of this project, and consulting widely with communities and stakeholders across the East Anglia region.

“We will now take forward our discussions with the supply chain as we work towards unlocking the significant economic potential of the project. East Anglia ONE could support thousands of skilled jobs in construction and operation, and make a positive impact on the local and national economy for decades to come.”

Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall’s Continental/UK renewables division, said:  “The UK is a world leader in offshore wind and if it is to maintain that position it must continue reducing costs if the sector is to have a long term future. The investment in competitive UK and regional supply chains is essential to cost reduction in the sector but that investment will only be made if there is a pipeline of projects. Therefore the consent of a scheme like East Anglia ONE – which should be warmly welcomed by everyone – will boost business confidence and help secure more affordable, more reliable and greener power in the UK electricity mix.”

Largest Offshore Wind Farm

The fact that the largest offshore wind farm project has won consent is an indication of the strength of the offshore wind industry. It also shows how much faith governing bodies are putting in the processes that are undertaken to get such facilities installed and operational.

Florida Tidal Turbine Leases Granted for Testing

A new five year lease agreement has been signed between researchers from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The purpose of the agreement is to allow testing of small-scale ocean tidal turbines to be undertaken by FAU.

Multiple Test Berths

As per the agreement it will now be possible to install multiple test berths on the outer continental shelf 13 miles offshore from Broward County. This gives the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) of FAU the chance to deploy turbine prototypes up to 100kW in generating capacity from vessels moored in the Gulf Stream.

Small Scale Current Turbine

The turbine test site in question has been the object of attention by the SNMREC since 2007. Tests that have been carried out earlier in 2014 emphasised the need for this type of test site with a small-scale turbine put through its paces in tow tests.

To be specific, the terms of the lease is to specifically authorise three single-anchor mooring systems attached to mooring and telemetry buoys (MTB)

Five Year Lease Agreement

The signing of the five year lease agreement means the world’s first offshore test berth for small-scale ocean current turbines will be possible.

“This is the first time a lease has been issued to test ocean current energy equipment in federal waters,” BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank said. “The Gulf Stream contains a tremendous amount of energy, and this technology offers exciting potential to expand the nation’s renewable energy portfolio.”

An environmental review has been conducted and it was started in May 2011. It has concluded that the project would have ‘no significant impact’ on the area.

Goals of the Testing Area

The installation of these experimental devices as well as the related infrastructure is to:

  1. evaluate the effects of operating marine hydrokinetic devices on environment and resources
  2. demonstrate technology needs for further MHK development
  3. develop methodologies to perform the tests safely and responsibly
  4. develop and refine the tools that allow performance and effects of technologies to be monitored

All of this potential testing that can now take place in the Gulf Stream with the help of almost US$20 million in funding that has come from the Department of Energy, the state of Florida and private companies.

High-Altitude Wind Power: Nature Technology Systems

High-altitude wind power is making it possible to access the consistent wind currents at altitudes that are far beyond those that are accessible with standard tower based turbines. One of the device technologies that is building momentum is kite power developed by Nature Technology Systems and although this technology is largely untested in the commercial world, there is some interest in the potential it offers.

This is one of the Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) companies that have been springing up to take advantage of the winds that are to be found at higher altitudes. It is worth taking a closer look at each of the newer developments in the industry to get an idea of just how possible it is to produce wind power in ways other than the standard tower based turbines.

Nature Technology Systems (NTS) is a German company that has developed the crosswind system and is a wind power process that makes use of kites to harness the wind power. The NTS Principle is a patented method of generating energy from the wind and is unique in the efficient manner in which it works.

The principle under which NTS operates relies on a few principles:

  1. Energy output is cubed as the speed increases
  2. The greater the elevation the higher the wind speed
  3. The greater the elevation the more consistent the wind
  4. A kite can produce equal levels of wind energy as a conventional wind energy system with far greater efficiency

The difference between the NTS kites and a conventional wind turbine is that the NTS solution does not require huge amounts of building materials to create towers and turbines for implementation. Similarly it is not necessary to build extensive access roads to get to each device.

What is required in this case is an area of land that contains a closed length of rail track. This means there is still some environmental impact that will take place to build the rail and the other earth-bound components of the system. This is also where the bulk of the construction costs and maintenance are going to take place.

The Edge Provided By NTS Kites

An NTS kite is flown in constant figure eight patterns at significantly higher speeds than is possible with a conventional wind turbine. The nature of the kite means that it is able to withstand much higher wind pressure and can continue to operate whereas a tower-based turbine would be placed under tremendous stress.

By soaring up to 500m in altitude it is possible for the stronger and more consistent wind currents to be utilized. At this height it is possible to continue to generate energy without running into any safety problems.

The tethered kite pulls railed cars around a closed loop system. The kite is attached to the car by four thethers, two of which steer the kite and two to pull the car. The railed cars are connected by cables to the grid and electricity is passed straight in through the wheels.

NTS Prototype

The system devised by NTS is still a developing prototype with the effort proving the technology having been put into a 400 linear metre closed track using a 20 square metre surface area kite. As the company develops its model it plans to scale up the size of the kites with 40 square metre and 80 square metre surface area kites planned for the future. These kites will have far greater pulling capacity which translates into greater energy producing capabilities.

The numbers that have been displayed by the company in terms of the power generating capacity of the kites have indicated that a kite with a 10 square metre surface area is capable of producing 10 kW of electricity. It is still to be demonstrated how this will translate when it is scaled up, whether that is in terms of the size of the kites, the number of kites that run simultaneously on a track or the height at which the kites are deployed.

It is important to remember that the Airborne Wind Energy system that is still in development and the company is in the process of attracting investors to help fund it. There is still a great deal that has to happen before this particular use of kite power becomes a feasible source of wind power.

For more information about the various other prototypes nad developments in the AWE industry you can read our earlier article listed below.

Related article: High-Altitude Wind Energy Development

Suction Bucket Foundation Could Reduce Offshore Wind Energy Costs

The set-up costs of offshore wind farms could be drastically reduced thanks to a new piece of technology that has been called the ‘suction bucket’ foundation. The bucket is a means of anchoring offshore wind turbines and has been developed by Universal Foundation of Denmark.

An industry trial worth around £6.5 million and hosted by the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) will test the new bucket foundation. The project will be jointly funded by the Carbon Trust and the Danish Government along with Statoil (as the lead partner), Statkraft, EON, DONG Energy and Universal Foundation.

It is planned that the trial will take place during August to September 2014.

Innovative Offshore Wind Design

Universal Foundation Suction Bucket

Image: Universal Foundation

The design of the foundation means that the heavy pile-driven installation is removed. This high impact process is responsible for the majority of the environmental damage caused through sonic vibrations and disruption to the ocean floor.

Instead the unit is able to screw itself into the seabed before the bucket component fills with silt and water. This process creates a suction that anchors it and the platform firmly.

The beauty of this process is that it is completely reversible so that when it comes time to remove the foundation it is a relatively simple process and the entire unit can be redeployed elsewhere.

The developers of the suction bucket foundation, Universal Foundation, will work with North Sea wind energy companies Statoil, Statkraft, EON and DONG Energy as well as a Danish university. The test sites will be located within the Dogger Bank, Hornsea and Dudgeon offshore wind farms in the OWA area.

Lower Cost Implications

Should the testing of the suction bucket be successful and its use become a standard in the way offshore wind turbine platforms are installed it could save developers millions of pounds. It is a clear way in which the cost of offshore wind energy can be reduced over the next decade.

In fact, Carbon Trust has estimated that using the new foundations could reduce the cost of energy by 10% for the 2,500 offshore wind turbines that are expected to be deployed.

Torgeir Ramstad of Universal Foundation said: “We are very pleased to be working jointly with key stakeholders to demonstrate the potential of this unique technology, which we believe will bring substantial cost reductions to future offshore wind farms. Not only are we able to install in a wide range of soil conditions, carrying the largest turbines in deeper waters, we can accomplish installation of turbines immediately following foundation installation thus entering the production phase much faster – These are just a few of the key benefits of our value proposition.”

This innovative new design has come directly from an international competition run by Carbon Trust seeking ways to lower capital costs of installing offshore wind power. Universal Foundation was one of the four shortlisted finalists in the competition.

Another of the finalists, the Keystone twisted jacket foundation has also been demonstrated in 2011.

Investment Funding Provided For Shetland Tidal Array

The success of any new project inevitably comes down to money and the ability to pay for the development and testing. With tidal energy projects this funding is vital due to the lengthy lead time involved.

This is why the announcement that Belgian energy company ELSA has committed an investment of £1.85 million to the Shetland Tidal Array is such good news for the prospects for future success of the project. Nova Innovation, developer of the tidal turbines to be used in the project, is also being supported by Scottish Enterprise to the tune of £1.9 million with grant and loan funding.

Nova 30 Tidal Turbine

The project will consist of five 100 kW tidal turbines in the Bluemull Sound and this will produce enough power to provide electricity for 300 homes. The first three devices are to be commissioned by the end of 2015 and is the first of two phases that will comprise the implementation of the array.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP said:

“ELSA’s decision to invest in Scotland is a testament to the confidence felt by international investors to help develop the huge wave and tidal energy resources from the waters around the Scottish coast.

“The Scottish Government and its agencies will do everything we can to ensure Scotland benefits from the significant economic opportunities the renewables industry presents.

“Scotland’s record in attracting international investment is very strong. Last week’s Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey revealed that foreign investment to Scotland in 2013 reached its highest level since 1997.”

This announcement has come just a week after Nova Innovation announced the successful deployment of the first community owned tidal turbine in Shetland. it will become an extension of this successful project.

More details: Shetland Seabed Tidal Turbine Generating Electricity

ELSA is the energy subsidiary of IDETA. The company was formed in 2010 and has been principally involved in wind farms and biomass energy. Together, ELSA and Nova Innovations have formed Shetland Green Electricity Ltd to develop the Shetland Tidal Array. The partners also plan to work together on potential tidal projects in other parts of Europe.

By providing this significant level of funding it is hoped that there will be an acceleration in the growth of new tidal projects across Europe.

There are further implications to the other partner in the agreement, Nova Innovations with company Managing Director Scott Forrest saying

“This partnership agreement will accelerate Nova Innovation’s technology development; help secure the company’s Scottish manufacturing base and expand the integrated supply chain here in Shetland and Scotland. The pan-European vision of the partnership will open up export markets and deliver real growth for the marine energy sector.”

Nova Innovations will be seeking further backing from the Belgian Government when it travels to the European Parliament in Brussels to present its renewable ambitions for the future.

High Altitude Wind Power: Alaskan Tests Planned for BATs

The concept of high-altitude wind power production has been brought to the edge of commercial reality in the form of the Altaeros Energies turbine called the Buoyant Air Turbine (BAT).

The BAT is able to hover at heights of 1,000 to 2,000 feet in the air thanks to the helium-filled shell that surrounds the turbine. The shell is made of the same fabric that is used by blimps and sails and allows the turbine to ascend to the point where the winds are stronger and more consistent than those powering tower based turbines.

Buoyant Air Turbine

The technology is soon to be tested in Alaska where it will be powering microgrids located to the south of Fairbanks. The trial will be conducted over an 18 month period and will be funded by the Alaska Energy Authority. The authority has awarded Altaeros a $1.3 million grant from its Emerging Energy Technology Fund to support the testing.

Additional funding has been provided by RNT Associates International Pte Limited.

The places where the BAT will be trialled will be in rural areas that rely on gas and diesel generators for power. The cost of the electricity is typically around $1 per kilowatt-hour. The BAT has a capacity of 30 kW and the purpose of the trial will be to reduce the cost of electricity down to around 18 cents per kilowatt-hour.

This electricity cost is far higher than the cost of electricity produced in conventional markets but for extreme circumstances it will fill a need. The bonus is that it is clean and green electricity and it is easily brought on site.

A Mobile Wind Power Solution

BAT TransportedWhile the technology promises to produce a more efficient source of wind power it is not designed to replace conventional tower mounted turbines. It is a way of bringing wind power to areas where it is not possible to place towers and it is also not economically viable.

Whereas it requires huge amounts of concrete, steel and a way of getting the materials into what might possibly be quite remote locations, it only takes a couple of shipping containers to get the BAT on site.

In fact, the image shown here gives an idea of how simple it is to transport the BAT from one location to the next, even after it has been inflated and readied to take off.

Ideal situations where BATs will be a good solution as an electricity source include:

  • Military bases
  • Island communities
  • Remote locations
  • Natural disaster sites
  • Short term amusement parks
  • Circuses
  • Music festivals
  • Sporting venues

Essentially, anywhere where a diesel generator is being employed to create power will be ideal for the deployment of a BAT.

The technology used to get the turbine airborne has been borrowed from that which is used for communications surveillance and weather monitoring equipment. The Altaeros system is also able to adjust the height and alignment of the turbine so that it can be placed in optimal conditions. As the winds change in direction and intensity, so too can the positioning of the BAT. This means that the power production can be maximized.

While the deployment of vast numbers of BATs to form large arrays is still many years away, the quick deployment of small numbers in areas that are in critical need is the focus.

And with the testing that is about to take place over the next 18 months, there is a greater likelihood that we will be seeing more Buoyant Air Turbines in the future.

Altaeros Energies was founded by MIT alumni Ben Glass and Adam Rein in 2010.

The high-altitude wind power sector is gaining momentum with a number of innovative projects attracting investment from some pretty powerful energy partners. A more in depth summary of the various companies and their high-altitude wind power devices can be found by reading this article.

Fair Head Tidal Energy Project Announced

The waters off the coast of Fair Head in Northern Ireland could become a source of renewable energy with the proposal to install tidal turbines on the sea bed. The plan, with the project name Fair Head Tidal Energy Project, has been put forward as part of a £400m development plan by Cork-based renewable energy firm DP Energy.

The scale of the proposal is quite large with the completed project capable of producing 100MW of electricity. This means it would be capable of providing energy for up to 70,000 homes in Northern Ireland.

Fair Head Tidal Energy Project

Artists impression of tidal turbines Courtesy: fairheadtidal.com

The proposed site for the project is located approximately 2km to the east of Fair Head off the north Antrim coast. It will be located within a 3 square kilometre area.

At this point the proposal has not progressed beyond the early concept stage with research still being undertaken on the best type of tidal turbine device to install. At this stage the details run to underwater tidal turbines that are seated on the sea bed.

There are still the environmental impact assessments to get through as well as resolving onshore grid connection issues. With all things moving forward at planned speed the construction should commence in 2016/17 and the full commercial operation will begin in 2020.

The Fair Head project is being developed by a Special Purpose Venture (SPV) made up of DP Marine Energy and Belgian marine construction company Bluepower NV. It is the second of two tidal schemes to have secured leases in the area, the first of which is another 100MW project that is being developed by Tidal Ventures Limited.

DP Energy will be hosting a couple of information events for the local communities in Ballycastle and Rathlin Island.

To get a better idea of exactly where the proposed location for the tidal energy project is in relation to the local towns and cities, take a look at the map provided below. To expand the view, simply click on the map.

Fair Head Tidal Energy Site

Blair Marnie, Fair Head Tidal project manager, said the project would be developed in two stages.

“The first stage is to install a small tidal farm of between five and 10 turbines. The proposed technology is a further development of that used in Strangford Lough,” he said.

“The second stage would be more substantial, completing the scheme’s 100MW output, enough to heat and light 70,000 homes and small businesses.”

SPV partner Bluepower is a company that was established by DEME Blue Energy and Nuhma, with tidal experience brought in by DEME which has been involved as part of the installation team for the SeaGen device. This device is the first commercially operated tidal turbine located in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.

The aim is that the project will have been commissioned and producing tidal energy by 2020.

DP Energy said it has received £8m in EU grant aid for the project and is in talks with Invest NI and the Interreg programme about securing further funding.

Dynamic Tidal Power Planned For the China Coast

An economic assessment has been commissioned by the Chinese National Energy Administration to determine the viability of building a Dynamic Tidal Power (DTP) facility off the east coast of China.

The facility is ambitious to say the least and will involve the construction of a dam that extends between 60 km and 100 km perpendicular to the Chinese coast. The planned location for the dam is for the waters between Xiamen and Shantou at the entrance to the Bohai Sea.

Huge Tidal Energy Generation

The dam would become a tidal energy capturing structure with up to 4,000 turbines built into it that would capture power from the tide with the capability of generating up to 15GW of energy. This would be enough energy to power more than 10 million homes.

The DTP technology required to produce this type of tidal energy is still untested and involves a consortium of eight Dutch companies who are leading its development. The consortium, which also involves the Chinese Government, is known as the (Partners Offering a Water Energy Revolution) POWER Programme.

The DTP is essentially a T-shaped dam that takes advantage of the tidal waves that run parallel to the coasts of continental shelves. The ideal locations for these powerful hydraulic currents have been noted as being prevalent off the coasts of China, Korea and the UK.

Projects Started and Cost Estimations

Feasibility projects have been conducted over the last three years and they have demonstrated the proof of principle. There has also been extensive assessment of possible suitable locations for such a facility.

At this stage the design and construction costs of the project are still taking place with an economic assessment being conducted. The estimates put the costs in the region of $40 billion.

“We are thrilled about the fruitful co-operation with our Chinese partners,” said Arcadis River, Coast and Sea director Rob Steijn, one of the inventors of the technology. “Of course it helps a lot that many tidal conditions along the Chinese coastline are very good for the concept of dynamic tidal power.”

It is expected that the Chinese economic assessment will be completed by the end of 2014. If that meets its goal the first round of testing can be started with a more complete design to follow.

Should all aspects of the project go smoothly there is a potential that the project could be completed by 2020.

POWER consortium members

Strukton BV, NL (lead)
ARCADIS Netherlands BV, NL (coordination)
Delft University of Technology, NL
Hulsbergen Hydraulic Innovation & Design (H2iD), NL
Ingenieursbureau Oranjewoud BV, NL
IMARES, institute of DLO, NL
DNV KEMA Energy
Pentair Nijhuis, NL

More Details About Dynamic Tidal Power

DTP Side View Concept

Dynamic Tidal Power has yet to be tested in any large-scale form. It represents a method of creating renewable energy in large quantities but is still to be put through environmental impact assessments.

The concept involves placing a large dam-like structure in a shallow sea basin that extends at least 30 km perpendicular to the shore. At the end of this dam may be another perpendicular extension that will result in the dam taking the shape of a large ‘T’ or ‘Y’.

Along the length of the dam will be a large number of low-head turbines and the water level differential (head) generated by the dam will be converted to power. The difference in the water level is only small, around 1 to 3 metres but this translates into a large discharge and that means the possibility of generating high installed power rates.

The concept was invented and patented by Dutch coastal engineers Kees Hulsbergen and Rob Steijn in 1997.

Should a project of this nature ever be developed and brought to reality it will vastly open up the potential for tidal energy as a renewable energy source.

There is a lot of information, video presentations and copies of papers and news about POWER and the technologies around DTP on the Power Programme website.

FloWave Testing Facility Can Increase Tidal Device Development

With an ability to simulate waves up to 28m high the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility will prove to be a very valuable testing facility for marine energy devices. The facility is located at Edinburgh University in Scotland.

It can generate currents up to 1m per second as well as metre high waves. When scaled up this gives the aforementioned 28m high wave simulation and currents of up to 14 knots.

It will be possible for developers and researchers to come to the testing pool to put closer to full-scale devices through their paces. The tank provides 1/20th scale model testing conditions which makes a link between the 1/6 scale and above conditions of the open sea and the 1/100 ‘flume scale’ test modelling. These devices could be anything from wave and tidal energy converters to floating offshore platforms as well as installation vessels.

FloWave Testing Tank

What this means is that the testing time can be greatly accelerated to the point where results that once took months or years to achieve in open water can be reduced to days or weeks in the controlled conditions.

It has cost £9.5 million to fund FloWave and this was provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Edinburgh University.

The tank is impressive in its specifications with a 25m diameter. It contains 2.4 million litres of fresh water at a depth of 5m. This means that it will be possible to fit 28 submerged flow-drive units in the pool that can simultaneously and independently drive current across the tank.

Over the top of the tank sits a 5 tonne crane that will enable fast installation or removal of devices or wave and tidal current generators.

The new FloWave facility will allow tidal device developers the opportunity to do their testing with significantly lower risk. For those developers who have already sited their devices in testing locations in the open water the facility provides the opportunity to take the lessons that have been learned and try them in the tank using a modified design.

One of the companies that is already using the facility is AlbaTERN which is refining the performance of their SQUID wave power devices that will be used to construct their planned WaveNET arrays. This refinement is taking place before introducing the devices to the open water.

Prof Philip Nelson, EPSRC chief executive, said: “The FloWave facility will help keep the UK at the forefront of marine energy technology research and development.

“Research here can accelerate the deployment of these technologies which, in turn, will help us meet our low-carbon targets create jobs and boost growth.”

RivGen Tidal Device To Be Tested In Alaska

The RivGen Power System is a shallow water river turbine with a 25 kW capacity that has been developed by Ocean Renewable Power Co. (ORPC). It has been built with backing from the Alaska Energy Authority and the Denali Commission and will be installed in the Kvichak River in July 2014.

The turbine will be generating power for the community of Igiugig which is located around 250 miles southwest of Anchorage. This particular model will be a prototype that will be operating under test conditions.

With the blades capable of turning at 49 revolutions per minute in a 6 knot current it has been estimated that the turbine will be capable of generating about half the village’s electricity. It will be used as a clean power alternative to the diesel that is currently in use.

ORPC RivGen

“The good news is, sustainable river energy has now arrived in Alaska,” said Christopher Sauer, ORPC chief executive officer.

To get the turbine into place it will be barged in from Homer and fitted to a pontoon support structure. The pontoon has been built in Alaska and it will be floating the device into place. When it has been properly positioned the pontoons will be filled with water to lower the turbine to the floor of the river.

Permits have been obtained by the company to continue to operate the turbine through September. Critical factors that will be observed will include the ease with which the turbine hooks into the village power grid as well as its effect on fish.

There will be underwater cameras in place to monitor the fish movement. ORPC director of business development Doug Johnson has pointed out that larger fish seem to sense the turbine and avoid the blades while smaller fish simply swim through it.

The cost of the tidal device is a large factor in whether it will be successfully accepted by small communities. Natural gas is still a cheap alternative and is still preferred over the renewable option.

It is estimated that the 25kW RivGen turbine that is installed would cost a village around $500,000.

The RivGen Turbine is one of the 3 devices developed by ORPC that comprise the ambitious Maine Tidal Energy Project.