That tide just runs like the dickens all up and down the coast here, especially the further you get down towards Eastport.

Water Power News


Maine has many ways to get power from water.  Just a few of them are: hydropower, tidal power and ocean wave power.  We will bring you conversations with experts on all of these and more.  If you are an expert on a water-power technology, or if you have questions for Maine's experts on these technologies, please join in the conversation here.

Ocean Renewable Power Company's beta tidal turbine generator

Ocean Renewable Power Company's Beta Power Generation Turbine Unit, made from composite materials

MPUC Defers Decision on Net Metering Rule Changes
01/08/2017 - 1:51pm

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities CommissionOn December 19, 2016, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced a delay in handing down a decision about a controversial set of proposed rule changes to Maine’s net metering law.

Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy was quoted as saying, ”This is an important rule and more time is needed to consider the proposed rule in light of the comments we received to ensure that the rule treats all ratepayers in a fair manner. It remains clear that changes in technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar photo-voltaic, require a careful review of the current rule and potential modifications."

The 128th Maine Legislature, which has just opened it 2017 session, will also be considering changes to net metering laws.

Read more in Mainebiz and read the announcement on the MPUC website.

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

DOE Invests in Maine Tidal Power Company
09/17/2016 - 8:37pm

ORPC's TidGen turbine generator unit being readied for installation at Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project site image courtesy of ORPCOn August 31, 2016, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland, Maine will receive $5,350,000 through the Department of Energy to enhance the performance of its tidal turbine system.  ORPC was one of 10 organizations across the country to receive funding to support the development of a commercially viable marine and hydrokinetic industry.

ORPC plans to use the grant to enhance the performance of its tidal turbine system by integrating several advanced component technologies. The device's novel floating design will move the turbine near the surface to capture higher flow velocities and will help reduce the cost of installation and on-water operations, ultimately lowering the cost of energy. This project will demonstrate and monitor turbine performance during its deployment in Cobscook Bay.

Read the announcement from Senator Collins.

Read the Energy Department’s announcement.

Image credit: ORPC's TidGen® turbine generator unit being readied for installation at Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project site, courtesy of ORPC.

UMaine Opens World Class Wind and Wave Testing Facility
12/26/2015 - 7:03pm

the Harold Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Laboratories image courtesy of the University of MaineOn November 23, 2015, the Advanced Structures & Composites Center at the University of Maine at Orono celebrated the opening of the Harold Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Laboratories. This world-class testing laboratory will prototype coastal and offshore structures, including ships, aquaculture facilities, oil and gas structures, and ocean energy devices under extreme wave, wind and current environments.

During the ceremonies, the Harold Alfond Foundation announced a $3.9 million grant to the University of Maine to match $9.98 million already raised for the facility. See photos of the day’s celebration here. Read more in the Bangor Daily News.

Image credit: University of Maine.

Ocean Renewable Power Company Receives DOE Grant
12/26/2015 - 12:15pm

Ocean renewable power company tidgen tidal generation turnine photo courtesy of orc.On November 24, 2015 the Bangor Daily News reported that the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland received a $2.25 million grant to make efficiency improvements to the deployment, anchoring and retrieval system for its tidal power generation turbines in Cobscook Bay off Lubec and Eastport. The work is expected to lower operational costs and make the technology more commercially viable. Testing is slated for 2017.

The grant was announced by Rep. Chellie Pingree and is one of 41 of the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy awards made recently. Read the full story in the Bangor Daily News.

Image courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Company.

E2Tech Hosts its First Expo Oct. 1
09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

ORPC Deploys River Power System in Remote Alaskan Village
07/31/2015 - 9:23pm

RivGen hydroower system on station in Kvichak River photo courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power CompanyOn July 29, 2015, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland, Maine announced that its RivGen® Power System Demonstration Project in the Kvichak River at the remote river village of Igiugig, Alaska, was successfully deployed and is providing power to the local microgrid.

The 25-kilowatt hydropower system was designed to reduce and stabilize the cost of power in remote or "islanded" communities located near rivers and tidal estuaries, significantly decreasing the community's use of diesel fuel.

Watch a video of the system deployment here AND read the full story on Renews.

Image courtesy of ORPC.

King Floats Hydrokinetic Bill
04/23/2015 - 3:04pm

Senator Angus King of MaineOn Earth Day, May 22, 2015, Senator Angus King re-introduced "The Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act" to encourage the research and development of renewable energy generated through waves, currents, ocean tides, and free-flowing water in lakes and rivers, known as marine and hydrokinetic power.

Maine has strong, hydrokinetic, natural resources and was the first state in the nation to connect a tidal energy generator to its power delivery infrastructure. Read the full story here.

Image source: Senator Angus King.

ORPC Proves Concept of New Tidal Generation Device
11/03/2014 - 10:26pm

Photo of OCGen Prototype Buoyancy Pod Chassis and 2 Turbines June 2014 photo courtesy of ORPCOn October 29, 2014, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland, Maine announced that it has concluded its OCGen® Module Mooring Project in Cobscook Bay, Maine. The trial successfully both proved the stability of the prototype OCGen® device in reversing tidal currents and confirmed the loading and performance of its innovative tensioned mooring system.

"We believe the prototype OCGen® device is the first installation anywhere of a floating hydrokinetic device held at a fixed location in the water column using a tensioned mooring and anchoring system," said ORPC President & CEO Chris Sauer.

Read the full story in our blog post.

Image credit: OCGen® Prototype Buoyancy Pod Chassis and 2 Turbines June 2014 photo courtesy of ORPC.

UMaine Expands Ocean Energy Testing Capabilities
10/08/2014 - 12:32pm

drawing of the W2 wind and water testing facility at the University of Maine at Orono Advanced Structures and Composites CenterConstruction is underway on an addition to UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC). Called W2, this unique wave-wind basin will allow UMaine researchers to test offshore structures under differing wave and wind environments.

Testing at the W2 facility will be applied to renewable energy projects (such as offshore wind, wave, tidal, and current technologies), shipbuilding, offshore drilling and coastal climate change effects modeling. Completion by May 2015 is expected.

Read the whole story from UMaine.

Image credit: University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center

Tidal Range Power Project Proposed
08/09/2014 - 4:09pm

The Halcyon Tidal Power Pennamaquan facility is almost entirely submerged and will have both the appearance and function of a footbridge. Image courtesy of Halcyon Tidal Power.Halcyon Tidal Power met with some hard questions at public hearings in Pembroke, Washington County on August 8 when it presented a proposal to build a 1,616-foot-long tidal “barrage” (low dam) across the Pennamaquan River between Leighton Neck and Hersey Neck. The $125 million project would use tidal range power technology to generate an estimated 80,000 mWh of power annually from tidal forces in the Cobscook Bay.

For a full description of the project and hearings, see articles in the Bangor Daily News. Read a description of the tidal range power technology from the company.