MRECo scores funding for tidal test site

Illustration (Photo: MRECo)
Illustration (Photo: MRECo)

The Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo) has received funding from the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council to develop a tidal energy test site in the Cape Cod Canal.

As a fixed test structure, the Bourne Tidal Test Site (BTTS) would be the permanent test stand for tidal energy in the US, MRECo informed.

BTTS will consist of a test structure on to which turbines will be mounted, an energy storage system and a load. The test structure itself will consist of two pilings joined by a bridge with test turbine mounted onto the bridge, MRECo states.

The structure will be sited approximately 10 m south of the west end of the railroad bridge in the Cape Cod Canal. It is anticipated that turbines of up to 3 m in diameter will be tested with maximum output of 100 kW.

BTTS will be permitted and the test structure will be installed by the end of 2016, MRECo’s press release reads.

John Miller, MRECo Executive Director, said: “BTTS will allow anyone seeking to develop tidal devices a place to test inexpensively which will spur development of new technologies for this industry. BTTS will reduce the time and cost for testing in ocean conditions, while monitoring for unexpected consequences. This will allow the huge intellectual capital located in private industry and within the many educational institutions in New England to have the ability get their devices into the water at a fraction of the cost, accelerating commercialization.”

Currently, MRECo has an agreement with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) fish testing facility at Turner’s Falls to manage tidal testing in flumes that can accommodate turbines of up to 1 meter diameter in water flows of 4 knots.

MRECo is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to foster the sustainable growth of marine renewable energy, including wave, tidal, and offshore wind sectors of New England through education, collaboration, and demonstration.

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