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First Commercial Tidal Energy Project in the U.S. Launched in Maine
The first commercial tidal power plant in the U.S., called the Cobscook Bay project, is currently under development. The project will be located at an inlet in the Bay of Fundy in Eastport Maine.
The system will consist of 5 cross-flow turbines which will generate power from the ebb and flow of tides on the floor of the bay. Tests indicate that the turbines should not pose any problem to ships passing overhead, nor to the marine life in the area; the dull, slow moving blade design mitigates such risks.
The project will see its first turbine installed soon, with the remaining turbines slated for implementation over the following year. While this phase will generate enough energy to power around 100 nearby homes, the project may be expanded in the future to a capacity of 4 MW, which would provide enough power for around 1000 nearby homes and businesses.
The equipment for the project was manufactured at a regional level, with the turbines made in Rhode Island and the generator in Massachusetts;
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Dallas Terry, LEED AP BD+C
Director, Earth Circle Sustainable Energy
Clean Energy Consulting