July 1, 2011 - hydrokinetic projects in Maine

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hydrokinetic power plants convert the energy of moving water into electricity.  They can operate on tidal currents, ocean waves, or on water flowing through rivers.  (To learn more, check out my summary of what's happening with hydrokinetics across the country.)

Waves breaking on the back shore of Great Cranberry Island, Maine.

In Maine, eight hydrokinetic tidal projects have won preliminary permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Preliminary permits represent the first step toward earning a license to build and operate a project.  Once a developer receives a preliminary permit for a site, that developer has the exclusive right for three years to file an application for a full license at that site.  Preliminary permits don't authorize project construction or operation, but rather reserve a developer's claim to a particular site to allow time for studying the engineering and business aspects of the project.

The eight Maine hydrokinetic projects with preliminary permits are:
  • Town of Wiscasset Tidal Resources, 10 MW on the Sheepscot River
  • Shearwater Design's Homeowner Tidal Power Elec Gen, 60 kW on the Kennebec River
  • The Power Company's Damariscotta Tidal project, 250 kW on the Damariscotta River
  • Tidewalker Associates' Half Moon Tidal Energy project, 9 MW on Passamaquoddy Bay
  • three projects by Ocean Renewable Power Company:
    • Cobscook Bay at 750 kW
    • Western Passage Ocgen at 1.2 MW
    • Kendall Head at 1.2 MW
  • Pennamaquan Tidal Power on the Pennamaquan River at 21.1 MW
In addition, the Bareneck Island project is currently seeking a federal license to actually develop and operate its project.

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