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Tidal Energy Being Studied in Alaska

March 30 2011 | Ocean Ecosystems, Ocean Energy,
by Rick Wilson

Ocean Renewable Power, a company which has conducted a pilot project in Maine and developed much of their technology there, is now evaluating the prospects of using tides in the Cook Inlet area of Alaska to spin turbines to generate electricity.  The company just received a permit to begin studying the area and now has three years to establish baseline environmental data and see how fish and whales use the area.

The initial project would be on a small-scale, to see if it's feasible to do a larger project in the area. Last spring, the Maine-based company began similar work at a Fire Island site in the north Cook Inlet.  Most of that work is done. Now they're largely focused on the Nikiski site, called East Forelands.

The company plans to use multiple small turbines in various configurations depending on the conditions of a given location. It is also developing turbines for use in rivers, and working towards a project that would produce power in the Tanana River.

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