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United States' first commercial tidal turbine unit now on line


North America's first commercial marine tidal turbine is now online.

The tidal turbine, located at Cobscook Bay in eastern Maine, began generating power several weeks ago, but the project's developer, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) wanted to wait for confirmation from the unit's operators to confirm.

Bangor Hydro, which owns the transmission lines that connect to the submerged turbine, says the unit is currently generating about 180 kW of electricity.

The program calls for the installation of more units through the next four years, eventually bringing the total installed capacity of the project to 4 MW.

"This historic moment elevates the U.S. to the world stage," says Chris Sauer, ORPC President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are now ready to bring our tidal energy systems and expertise to the international market."

HydroWorld.com reported in May that the Maine Public Utilities Commission and ORPC had approved the primary contract terms of a power-purchase agreement.

The project received licensing from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in March.

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