The Ocean Renewable Power Company-Maine (ORPC) announced it has received a $300,000 development award from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) to support the commercial development of power from tidal energy and create the environmental and economic benefits of capturing the renewable energy from these resources.

“Like all of those funded by MTI, this project was thoroughly evaluated on its technological merit, commercial potential and job creation in Maine,” said Betsy Biemann, MTI president. The award is specifically for the detailed engineering of a prototype project, testing and eventual installation of a full-scale commercial tidal energy project.

“Maine has tremendous indigenous tidal resources,” said Chris Sauer, president & CEO of ORPC-Maine. “We want to set the example by delivering the best possible tidal projects in North America.”

The project will use proprietary ocean current generation (OCGen) technology that ORPC Maine is developing, and it will initially be deployed in Western Passage and Cobscook Bay. The power company has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for preliminary permits for the sites and plans to begin building and installing a full scale prototype OCGen module in Western Passage in late 2008. Upon successful testing and monitoring, the power company plans to develop, permit and build commercial scale OCGen projects at the sites.

“The review and subsequent award from the Maine Technology initiative confirms our findings that the ORPC Maine project holds great promise for our environment and economy,” said Bud Finch, Eastport city manager.            EC