Maine’s ORPC chosen to manage Alaska wave energy project

Posted Nov. 04, 2013, at 6:24 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 05, 2013, at 10:33 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Ocean Renewable Power Co. is taking the experience it has gained from its tidal energy project in Washington County and applying it to a project in Alaska.

The Portland-based company on Monday announced that its subsidiary, ORPC Solutions, will provide project management and regulatory affairs services to the Yakutat Wave Energy Project in Yakutat, Alaska, a remote community on the Gulf of Alaska 200 miles northwest of Juneau, according to a news release. Boston-based Resolute Marine Energy, or RME, is leading the project.

RME plans to install its SurgeWECTM wave energy converters at an ocean site near Yakutat. The project is expected to be online by 2015, the release said.

ORPC made history in September 2012 when its tidal energy project in Cobscook Bay became the first ocean project of any type to deliver electricity to the power grid in the United States.

“ORPC’s demonstrated success in permitting marine hydrokinetic projects and the company’s strong relationships with regulatory agencies will be of great benefit as we move from preliminary to final permit status and start deploying our wave energy converters in 2015,” Bill Staby, RME’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

However, this is not ORPC’s first venture into Alaska. The company currently has an office in Anchorage.

Last year, the Alaska Energy Authority gave the company a $1.5 million award from its Emerging Energy Technology Fund to deploy its tidal energy technology in the Kvichak River. It also has a federal preliminary permit for a tidal project at East Foreland in Cook Inlet.

“We share RME’s commitment to help remote communities address their challenging energy needs,” Chris Sauer, ORPC’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “and we’re pleased to help RME make its Yakutat Wave Energy Project a reality.”

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