ORPC drops Cook Inlet tidal project license

ORPC's TidGen turbine (Photo: ORPC)
ORPC’s TidGen turbine (Photo: ORPC)

ORPC Alaska, a subsidiary of Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), has applied to US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to surrender the preliminary license for the proposed East Foreland tidal energy project, in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

The proposed project would consist of a series of 150 kW TideGen, and/or 150 kW OCGen turbine-generator modules with a combined capacity between 5 MW and 100 MW, connecting to the shore station on the west coast of Kenai Peninsula.

FERC granted the preliminary permit for the feasibility study of constructing the East Foreland project on March 11, 2011.

However, following the feasibility of a tidal energy project at East Foreland over the past several years, which included environmental assessment, a resource assessment through ADCP current velocity measurements at two prospective sites, a detailed bathymetric survey of the project area, and project development works, ORPC decided to file for surrendering the license to FERC, stating:

“This work established the viability of both the tidal resource and the development of a tidal energy project at the East Foreland. Nonetheless, the strength of the conventional energy market in Alaska precludes timely integration of new technology, like tidal energy systems, and advancement of the Project at the pace established by the original Schedule of Activities.

“As a result, public and private funding sources have sought nearer-term market impact from their investments. This in turn has negatively affected ORPC’s ability to expeditiously gather site data during Alaska’s limited field season window and maintain pace with FERC milestones.

“Therefore, we have decided to surrender the East Foreland preliminary permit in order to continue our focus and dedication of resources towards technology optimization and development of near term market opportunities that are available to ORPC and its power system technology, and which we are successfully pursuing.”

ORPC is a US-based in-river, tidal and deep-water ocean current power generation systems and projects developer.

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