November 3, 2017

US Tidal Energy Test Site: Installation Set for Next Week

Artist’s rendering of what the tidal test site will look like (Image: MRECo)

Artist’s rendering of what the tidal test site will look like (Image: MRECo)

 Installation work for a permanent tidal power test site, a first of its kind in the U.S., is expected to begin in the Cape Cod Canal next week.

Having received final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the test site installation in September, the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo) said the Bourne Tidal Test Structure is slated for delivery in New Bedford on Friday, November 3, where it will be placed on a barge owned by AGM Marine, Inc. for transport to the Cape Cod Canal on Monday, November 6.

According to officials with the installation company, AGM Marine, three piles will be driven in the first three days, and the structure will be assembled on top of the piles likely by the end of next week. The work will take place in the water off the Railroad Bridge and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cape Cod Canal Field Office.

The site is located outside the commercial channel and tucked into an accessible spot near the Railroad Bridge on the mainland side of the canal. 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.

The structure was built at MassTank by experienced manufactures of steel tanks and large structures for various applications including marine and heavy industrial uses.

The Bourne Tidal Test Structure is part of the New England Marine Energy Development System (NEMEDS), a network of testing facilities located within a 100 mile radius that aim to help device designers obtain valuable information that will enable them to scale up and commercialize more efficiently.

Funding for the test site was provided by the Seaport Economic Council.

United StatesU.S. Army Corps of Engineerssteel tanks