April 10, 2013 | last updated April 10, 2013 10:55 am

ORPC files first tidal power report to FERC

The Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. has submitted its first annual environmental monitoring report to federal regulators, which the company says demonstrates no adverse impact on the marine environment of Cobscook Bay.

The company's pilot project near Eastport is the nation's first grid-connected tidal power generation project. Company and political officials cited the environmental monitoring report as a national milestone for the new energy technology.

The environmental report follows guidelines worked out between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and ORPC, setting out goals for environmental monitoring of the three pilot project turbines anchored to the floor of Cobscook Bay.

The report includes details of acoustic monitoring, marine mammal and fish species monitoring, and other environmental impacts.

ORPC CEO Chris Sauer said going through the first round of environmental monitoring has provided lessons in deploying tidal power projects that the company will be able to apply to future expansions.

The company has one turbine installed in Cobscook Bay and two more planned as part of the pilot project. The company is also eyeing an expansion of 24 turbines in the Western Passage of the Bay of Fundy, as well as tidal and river power projects in Alaska.

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