June 14, 2011 | last updated December 1, 2011 1:37 pm

ORPC brings turbine to Portland

Rebecca Goldfine
Rebecca Goldfine
Jim Mitchell, Ocean Renewable Power Co.'s system operator, on the company's research vessel, Energy Tide 2, which is visiting Portland through Thursday
Rebecca Goldfine
The Ocean Renewable Power Co.'s research vessel is moored at Portland Ocean Terminal and open for tours

Ocean Renewable Power Co. is showing off its research vessel and beta tidal turbine this week to coincide with a four-day international conference on ocean energy in Portland. Moored at the Portland Ocean Terminal, the boat and the turbine, typically based in Eastport, will be open to the public for free guided tours through Thursday.

The 45-foot turbine prototype is less than half the size of the actual turbine that ORPC plans to install by the end of the year on the ocean floor in Cobscook Bay's 100-foot deep waters. Jim Mitchell, ORPC's system operator, says the TidGen Power System, as the larger commercial turbine is called, will produce 150 kilowatts for Bangor Hydro Electric Co.'s grid, enough to power 50 to 75 homes. Chris Sauer, president and CEO of ORPC, says the turbine will likely be the first grid-connected tidal energy project in the United States.

The conference, Energy Ocean International, runs from today through Thursday at the Holiday Inn By the Bay.


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