August 29, 2012 — U.S. will soon unveil its first commercial and grid-connected tidal energy project with long-term contracts to sell electricity. The tidal energy project will be set up off the coast of Eastport, Maine, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.
The project will attract a $10 million investment from the Energy Department, while Ocean Renewable Power Co. will install its first commercial tidal energy device at Cobscook Bay.
The project has injected $14 million into the local economy supporting more than 100 local and supply chain jobs. As the first tidal energy project in the U.S it is also expected to help drive American leadership in this innovative clean energy technology and diversify the nation's energy mix.
Tidal energy is a clean and renewable source of energy that can be harnessed wherever changing tides move a volume of water. The Bay of Fundy is one of the most robust tidal energy resources in the world where 100 billion tons of water flow in and out with the force of 8,000 locomotives every day.
ORPC's Cobscook Bay pilot project will initially provide enough renewable electricity to power between 75 and 100 homes. In addition to this Energy Department-supported pilot project, ORPC also plans to expand the Maine project to install additional tidal energy devices to supply power to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the area.