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Tapping The Green Power of Earth’s Oceans

Ocean Currents Gives Plentiful Clean Energy

seacurrentsOn March 29, 2010, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), based out of Portland, Maine, launched the Energy Tide 2 (ET2), its Turbine Generator Unit (TGU), the largest ocean energy device deployed in U.S. waters. Designed to harness 60 kilowatts of tidal power (enough electricity to power 20 homes), in Cobscook Bay near Eastport, Maine. It is generating green, renewable energy used at Coast Guard Station Eastport.

The launch site, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy in Western Passage and Cobscook Bay, located along the border between eastern Maine and Canada, was chosen because it is the most robust tidal energy resource in the world. Each day, 100 billion tons of water flow in and out of this bay, with the force of 8,000 locomotives and tidal ranges of up to 50 feet (15.2 meters) or more.

ORPC’s proprietary turbine is engineered with 100% composite materials, a proprietary “hybrid” underwater permanent magnet generator, a TGU support frame incorporating significant use of composite materials, and a power electronics system that will convert the variable generator output to grid-compatible power. TGUs have a modular design that makes it easy to adapt to the varying needs of different site environments. To install power systems at small river and shallow tidal sites TGU arrays are secured to the riverbed or seabed using bottom support frames. At deeper tidal and deep ocean current sites, several TGUs are “stacked” together to form larger, more powerful modules and moored to the sea floor with a deep sea mooring system. Because the modules are buoyant, they can suspend them above the sea floor at a depth that’s safe for both sea vessels above and sea life below.

The technical viability of the technology was established during a year-long demonstration program in 2008, becoming the first company to generate tidal electricity in the Bay of Fundy without the use of dams or impoundments. ORPC expects to install the first full-scale, grid-connected tidal TGU at the Maine location by the end of 2010 and a target of 200 megawatts (MW) of installed power capacity in the area by 2015.

ORPC_tguAlaska possesses 95% of the country’s total tidal power potential, estimated at an astounding 109 TWh per year. ORPC is obtaining the necessary FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), licensing for a handpicked site with superior river currents in Alaska in 2011, to develop, test, and install the first grid-connected tidal and river device by utilizing their RivGen™ Power System in the waters of the fast-flowing Tanana River near the small town of Nenana, Alaska. As well as a site at Alaska’s Cook Inlet near Fire Island, off the coast of Anchorage which is an outstanding resource for tidal energy because it has the second highest tidal range in the world, (the above mentioned Bay of Fundy has the highest). ORPC’s power systems will connect directly to the Alaskan Railbelt grid, which supplies the city of Anchorage and the majority of Alaska’s population with electricity.

ORPC also has their sites set on Florida since the Gulf Stream supplies a continuous flow of rushing water adjacent to Florida’s largest load centers and utility substations. Adapting their proprietary technology to work in deep water ocean currents like those in the Gulf Stream with 21,000 times the energy of Niagara Falls, the world’s fastest and most powerful ocean currents. These currents are capable of generating between four and ten gigawatts of power – the same amount of energy produced by 4 to 10 new nuclear power plants. If ocean energy technology harnessed just 1/1000 of the Gulf Stream’s available energy, it could power up to 7 million homes and businesses in the state of Florida with renewable, reliable, emission-free electricity.

TGU1Since 2004, ORPC has been working in Florida with collaborative partners including Florida Atlantic University, the South Florida Testing Facility of the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Carderock Division, Florida Power and Light Company and Florida Keys Electric Cooperative. ORPC is also a member of the Florida Energy Systems Consortium Advisory Board.

FYI: Forced Green posted a previous article on another ocean energy technology pilot program from Florida State University’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology scheduled to deploy into Florida’s Gulf Stream this spring. – Florida’s Green Ocean Energy

It’s extremely illogical for us to plunge pell-mell into the depths of our oceans – further than our most advanced submarines can go – drill through the ocean floor in an ecosystem we know nothing about, to extract a most environmental and economically lethal of toxic fossil fuels. We can NOT get down there to fix it when something goes wrong. And things do go wrong — right BP?!

Earth is a beautiful, blue, water planet, so it’s only logical for us to harvest the abundance of clean sustainable energy that Mother Nature gifts us with so generously, right near the surface, twice a day, like clock-work. No need to mug her.

More and more projects such as ORPC’s are gaining ground working with our Earth, not against her.

as the green future unfolds.

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10 Responses to “Tapping The Green Power of Earth’s Oceans”

  1. Linda Says:

    Hi Jason …. So few words, so to the point. Amen my friend, amen.

    BTW, I wonder if the good Senator jumped in her gas gusseling SUV to race to the airport, boarded some unnamed company’s private jet to make it to the chamber floor in time to intervene for her “buddies”?

  2. Lissof Leuf Says:

    Good post Linda, it is nice to see something positive going on in the Energy Industry.

    There are many different concepts for tidal, wave and ocean current technology yet to be tapped for viability. With the vast majority of the country’s population living near the coast, we need to explore all possibilities for effective extraction of energy without a potention destruction of the marine enviroment.

    As for politicians,,,, let your representatives know where your personnel interest lie. Also research what Energy Lobbiest are investing $$$$$ in your politicians pockets.

    The VOTE, the power of the vote will get their attention.!!!!

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof … Succinctly and by the numbers. Could not of said it better myself! 😀

    Hi Tony … It can be used anywhere that meets its criteria on the planet Earth.

  4. Tony Says:

    I think this could really be something. i’m just curious if it can only be used in places where it will not ruin the environment.

  5. injaynesworld Says:

    I just pray we have an ocean left after this latest assault. If you didn’t see the surviving BP oil rig worker on 60 Minutes this week, surf the web for it. His story of how the greed of BP led to this catastrophe is heartbreaking.
    .-= injaynesworld´s last blog ..injaynesworld it’s another "Sunday Recap…" =-.

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Jayne … It is heartbreaking. I did see it and am going to post an update. Stay tuned!

    Hi Ralph … Thank you and come back again!

  7. Christina Aguilera woo hoo lyrics Says:

    Hey this is a great article. I’m going to email this to my friends. I stumbled on this while googling for some song lyrics, I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi woo hoo …. Glad you found us! Come back again! 😀

  9. Magnetic Generators Says:

    You hit the nail on the head in that post, I’ll definitely be back for the next update.

  10. Go Source Says:

    Take care , your brand-new follower .

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