ORPC Maine, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ocean Renewable Power Company, LLC (collectively ORPC), submits this 2012 Environmental Monitoring Report for Phase I of the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project (Project), in compliance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) pilot project license P-12711-005. This report represents a significant achievement for the Project and its Adaptive Management Plan and demonstrates improved knowledge of our TidGen™ Power System’s installation, operation and interaction with the marine environment.
ORPC is using this licensed pilot project to advance, demonstrate, and accelerate deployment of its tidal-current based marine hydrokinetic energy conversion technology, associated power electronics, interconnection equipment, and environmental monitoring program within a replicable full-scale, interconnected array of devices capable of reliably delivering electricity to the domestic power grid. The Project consists of designing, building, installing and monitoring a commercial-scale array of multiple grid-connected TidGen™ devices on the sea floor in Cobscook Bay off Eastport and Lubec, Maine in two phases.
The implementation of the environmental monitoring plans was affected by two overriding challenges: the realities of working regularly in the marine environment (i.e., limited visibility, high velocity, deep water conditions with changeable weather at the surface); and the start-up, conditioning, and maintenance issues associated with the new marine hydrokinetic technology and environmental monitoring instrumentation, especially the components that represented first of their kind applications.
To overcome these challenges ORPC took the following approach to ensure consistency with the Project’s license:
- Data was collected in accordance with the approved environmental monitoring plans and Adaptive Management Plan and in conjunction with the installed infrastructure and operational status of the TGU.
- Where deficiencies in equipment and methodologies were identified, ORPC engaged technical advisors, consulting scientists, manufacturer representatives, and qualified in-house personnel to troubleshoot issues and develop improvement plans, as necessary.