First Commercial Tidal Power Project in US Launches in Maine

Sam Mudge/CC BY-SA 2.0

It's been a while for a first of its kind renewable energy project in the US: The Department of Energy and Ocean Renewable Power Company have announced the launch of the United States' first commercial, grid-tied tidal power project, the TidGen Cobscook Bay project, in Eastport, Maine (pictured above).

The project is located on Cobscook Bay, an inlet of the Bay of Fundy, known throughout the world for its massive tidal shifts.

Energy.gov reports that more than 100 local and supply chain jobs have been created by the project, which has contributed more than $14 million to the local economy.

As initially built, the tidal power project will generate enough electricity for just 75-100 homes, but additional tidal power devices are planned to be installed to expand that to more than 1,000 homes and businesses.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu touted the project:

The Eastport tidal energy project represents a critical investment to ensure America leads in this fast-grown global industry, helping to create new manufacturing, construction and operation jobs across the country, while diversifying our energy portfolio and reducing pollution.

As for why the DoE is all over this one, the project has received $10 million in federal support, as part of Energy's Wind and Water Power Program.

Tags: Maine | United States | Wave Power

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