ORPC not to pursue Cobscook Bay tidal license renewal

ORPC's TidGen unit ahead of installation at Cobscook Bay, Maine (Photo: ORPC)

Ocean Power Energy Company (ORPC) has informed it would not apply for relicensing of the Cobscook Bay tidal energy project after the current license expires in 2022.

The US-based wave energy developer said in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the current velocities at the project site are inadequate to justify further pursuit of commercial license.

“The Cobscook Bay tidal energy site has served a pivotal role in the advancement of ORPC’s technology specifically and the domestic marine hydrokinetic industry generally. ORPC anticipates that the project infrastructure in place, the environmental monitoring and data analysis efforts, resource information documentation, and collaborative relationships with existing marine users will continue through the duration of the existing pilot license term,” ORPC said in a letter to FERC.

ORPC’s Maine subsidiary, ORPC Maine, was granted the pilot project license for the 750kW Cobscook Bay tidal project for a period of eight years in 2012.

In 2015, ORPC filed a request to FERC to extend the license for two more years, to 2022. FERC approved the request due to ‘the experimental nature of hydrokinetic devices, the licensee’s dedication to expanding and improving the technology and design of its project, and the insignificant or no impact to the surrounding environment.’

FERC acknowledged ORPC’s intent not to relicense the Cobscook Bay tidal project, in a letter filed on May 25, 2017, reminding the company that it must plan for and conduct all removal and site restoration activities within the last six months of its license, which expires on January 31, 2022.

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