The Bangor Daily News reports today that a tidal energy company in Washington DC may want to install underwater generators in the Penobscot River near Verona Island. Maine Tidal Energy Co. filed a request for a prelimary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This permit is the first step to evaluate whether a large underwater turbine project is feasible in the Penobscot River. If granted, the permit would allow the company to study the site for three years. METidal is considering installing up to a 100 generators but this first permit would not allow any construction.
Before getting down and dirty to build the generators, Maine Tidal Energy Co. has to apply for another FERC permit to move forward with a more detailed analysis and then other state and federal permits.
The type of turbines METidal is considering, as BDN describes them, include
"...rotating propeller blades approximately 20-to-50 feet in diameter, an integrated generator producing 500 kilowatts to 2 megawatts of electricity, an anchoring system, a mooring line and a transmission line to shore."
The tidal generators could look like this:
At full capacity and with 100 generators, BDN reports the project would ideally pull renewable energy from rising and falling tides and could support 750 homes. This first research phase will cost METidal between $1 million and $4 million, according to the newspaper.
If this jazzes you or pisses you off, file a comment, protest, or motion to intervene in the permitting process with FERC by clicking here.