Canal Water Turbine Testing Facility Waiting for Final Approval

COURTESY OF THE MARINE RENEWABLE ENERGY COLLABORATIVE: The proposed turbine test site under the railroad bridge in the Cape Cod Canal.

BOURNE –Plans for the construction and installation of a water turbine test facility in the Cape Cod Canal are on hold as it awaits final approval from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The turbine-testing facility would be installed under the railroad bridge by the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo).

The New England non-profit organization is working to advance ocean renewable energy projects.

The test site structure has already been built and is awaiting installation and is currently in Middleborough.

A marine installation company has also been selected to install when their schedule opens up again.

Two commercial companies were previously given preliminary permits for the canal but were never able to develop anything, due to the restrictions of navigation.

The Army Corps wants additional conditions for monitoring the site before they grant approval to the organization.

“We are very optimistic that our system will be approved but we have to really, really just be careful and abide by their rules and regulations and their timeframe,” said MRECo spokeswoman Maggie Merrill.

Executive Director John Miller said that the Canal is the best place for the new test site because the tidal flow reaches up to seven knots, better enabling them to test their devices.

He’s confident that they will hear a decision from the Army Corps soon.

“We think that we’ve answered all the questions they had and given them assurances that we can do things to alleviate any concerns they have and it’s just a matter of them now sort of, dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s and giving us the permit,” said Miller.

Miller adds that the move would also be a boost Bourne’s economy as the company would be sending employees to the town for weeks and months, spending money on local businesses.

The organziation was hoping to have the turbines in the water sometime this year, but the delay by the Army Corps, has pushed back the facility’s opening until next year.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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