The first permanent tidal power test site in the U.S. has been approved, following several environmental studies and careful review by multiple agencies. The Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo) has received final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install the Bourne Tidal Test Site within the Cape Cod Canal.
“The Corps of Engineers has determined that the Bourne Tidal Test Site will have no impact on the critical mission of the Cape Cod Canal and the local environment,” said John Miller, Executive Director of the MRECo.
MRECo expects to install the platform in November and is accepting proposals for testing in the spring of 2018.
Funding for the test site was provided by the Seaport Economic Council. The test stand will be installed in a sheltered spot where access is exclusively via the Army Corps of Engineers’ facility (where fishing from shore is not permitted) and where it is far out of the navigational channel.
Water velocity has been measured at over 2 meters/second (4 knots) on the maximum tidal cycle in both directions, enough to turn different types of tidal turbines to test their efficiency, power output, robustness and more. Turbines of up to 3 meters can be tested with vertical lift provided for easy access.
“With investment from the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council, MRECo is now positioned to be a national and international leader in tidal turbine research,” said Third Barnstable District State Representative, David T. Vieira (R- East Falmouth). “This project is one critical component in the economic development initiatives of the Buzzards Bay area.”
Congressman William Keating is also supportive of these efforts to develop new technologies to build upon our strong marine science and maritime technology sector to bring new jobs and enterprises to the area. “Construction of MRECo’s new tidal testing facility will continue to cement our region as a hub for marine science and technology,” said Congressman Bill Keating. “The development of tidal energy is important to securing the renewable energy needs of the future. I am happy to have been able to assist MRRCo as it went through its permitting process for this project and will continue to support them in future.”