Future development of the Passamaquoddy bay area is headed by the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC). Founded in 2004, ORPC's mission statement is "To generate reliable, competitive, emission-free electricity from the virtually unlimited energy resources of the oceans." The development of the OCGen™ technology allows the company to employ environmentally superior tactics in terms of tidal projects. T The TGU will have a generating capacity of 32 kilowatts in a 6-knot tidal current. The TGU will be mounted under a 20ft. by 48ft. barge and will be deployed approximately 30 feet under the water's surface." The company has been granted testing units in the bay from 2009 to 2010 and hopes to be fully operational by 2011. The company is currently looking at two locations the Western Passage and Cobscook Bay at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. The power generated will be interconnected to the New England electricity grid through the substation in Eastport. The company states "that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the City of Eastport which pledges their full support and cooperation in ORPC project development efforts. ORPC has also development positive relationships with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Army corps of Engineers." Though there seems to be some positive support there is also many skeptics of the program for reason such as ascetics and fish passage.
Other companies such as Tidewalker Associates and the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point Reservation have been grated to perform preliminary testing. Tidewalker was awarded a three-year preliminary permit in 2007 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to study the feasibility of tidal power development in Cobsook Bay. The chosen location for the company is Half-Moon Cove in Eastport, Maine. It is of interest because of it narrow and deep geography allowing for easier harnessing of the tides. In this case, the testing will be performed focused on the construction of a barrage dam. This will maximize production of energy because of the utilization of extreme tidal fluctuation. The tidal barrage has the capacity to produce 16 megawatts MW or approximately 38 million kilowatt-hours, which in a year will supply 10,000 costumers with power. The company is also considering the possibility of current driven turbines further inland. However, these will not produce as much energy as the barrage dam.
The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point Reservation has also gone to the State legislature to appeal for a tidal dam project. The project is a small one of only 29 MW. The revenue will go towards funding a sewage treatment plant for the Reservation, and is funded by the Bureau for Indian Affairs. The UEK®System is the proposed turbines the Passamaquoddy plan to implement. The technology is environmentally friendly and removes many concerns of fish passage. This is because of a bubble screen, which the turbine produces. However, the lack of power lines within tribal lands has caused problems for the distribution of the power. Though testing has been performed little progress has been made in implementing the project.
To view the specific projects of companies described above click the links below:
Ocean Renewable Power Company:
Passamaquoddy Tribe Project