Eastport, Maine’s population will grow on July 24th as OREG member Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) cordially invites marine renewable energy and supply chain members to a dedication ceremony for the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project—the first commercial, grid-connected marine renewable energy project in the U.S.
In late April the State of Maine Public Utilities Commission approved the U.S.’s first long-term tidal electricity purchase contract. This initiative and the four Nova Scotia projects approved under the Community Feed-in-Tariff (COMFIT) make for a solid engagement that is clearly the beginning of a new industrial development in the region and a demonstration that the Bay of Fundy’s extraordinary resource will emerge as a priority in both countries. Last summer Nova Scotia hosted a tidal symposium as a first initiative under an MOU inked by the State of Maine and the Province of Nova Scotia to collaborate in advancing these energy and industrial opportunities.
OREG has championed the broader “Atlantic North East” marine energy interest and was instrumental in having Maine propose the MOU. ORPC and US members see no border in their opportunities, just as OREG’s Canadian members should recognize that the U.S. Fundy developments reinforce their opportunity. In April 2011 OREG Executive Director Chris Campbell was in Eastport and Portland – this July we are hoping that our Atlantic Director and some Atlantic business and research interests will get to see this first U.S. tidal project—only metres away from the Canadian border!
While further project activity at FORCE and new initiatives by Emera will start in 2013, anyone looking at the opportunities in tidal should recognize that we now have four market-driven project developments moving ahead. When they are all looked at as companion projects, we should see the beginnings of regional supply chain development. Maybe it’s time we all get Nexus Passes! It is an international movement.