OES-Environmental distributes metadata forms (questionnaires) to solicit information from researchers around the world who are exploring the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. This page provides a description and contact information related to the research. Content is updated on an annual basis.

Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project: 2013 Environmental Monitoring Report

Study Status: 
Completed
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Nathan Johnson

Email: njohnson@orpc.co

Project Description: 

ORPC Maine, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ocean Renewable Power Company, LLC (collectively ORPC), submits this 2013 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 operation and interaction with the marine environment.

Location of Research: 

Cobscook Bay, Maine

Project Aims: 

To build an increased knowledge of marine life interaction with the TidGen® Power System

Project Progress: 

Completed

Key Findings: 

The 2013 environmental monitoring results continued to build an increased knowledge of marine life interaction with the TidGen® Power System and indicated negligible environmental effects for many elements of the monitoring plans. This report includes monitoring plans for acoustics, benthic and biofouling, fisheries and marine life interaction, hydraulics, marine mammals, and birds.

 

Acoustics:

SSI’s TidGen® Acoustic Monitoring Report was third party reviewed by Brandon Southall, Ph.D., at the request of ORPC to assure that a marine mammal scientist reached the same conclusion that ORPC minimized the potential risk of adverse environmental affects due to noise from its development project. Dr. Southall’s review determined that the spectrum levels recorded in a variety of conditions indicated that adverse effects to marine mammals were unlikely. The measurements of ambient and different operational conditions clearly indicated that the presence of associated sounds of varying characteristics in the region of hearing for at least some of the marine life known to occur in the vicinity of the Project site (more so for seals and fish than any cetaceans). Protected species in the vicinity of the TidGen® TGU may hear and could potentially be affected by the device. However, the potential for behavioral responses is likely to be extremely limited, and these levels would almost certainly not trip any thresholds for potential level B harassment. In addition, the recorded sound levels would not cause hearing loss or injury by acoustics for any species at any range.

Related Publications: 

ORPC Maine (2014). Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project: 2013 Environmental Monitoring Report. Report by Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC). pp 502. https://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/cobscook-bay-tidal-energy-project-2013-environmental-monitoring-report

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