EASTPORT, Maine — Ocean Renewable Power Co. will host a public dedication ceremony in Eastport on Tuesday, July 24, for the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project, the first commercial, grid-connected ocean energy project in the U.S.
The Portland-based company has been engineering and field testing its turbine designs in waters off Eastport since 2004 and now has plans to submerge five turbines in 82 feet of water. The turbines will be linked by underwater cable to an existing onshore Bangor Hydro-Electric substation at Kendall Head, north of the Washington County community of Eastport, for on-shore distribution onto the power grid.
The project anticipates eventual generation of 4 megawatts of output, enough electricity to power 1,000 homes. Each of the units is 98 feet wide and will extend 15 feet above the ocean floor. Deployment of the first unit is scheduled for mid-August.
“We do not have an exact date for that because the deployment will be dependent on wind, weather and availability of slack tide during daylight hours,” said Susy Kist, a company spokeswoman.
Kist said the 11 a.m. event at the Morrison Landing on Deep Cove Road will include remarks by company officials and others involved in bringing the project to deployment. The company credits the U.S. Department of Energy and the Maine Technology Institute for its support of the effort to harness the energy inherent in Cobscook Bay’s massive tides.
Kist said the event will allow the public a final opportunity to see the turbine before it is submerged.