New Tidal Energy Testing to be Conducted in Cape Cod Canal

BOURNE – The Bourne Tidal Test Site located near the railroad bridge on the Cape Cod Canal will soon have a new tidal turbine in operation.

Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative, a nonprofit corporation that promotes the development of renewable energy in New England ocean waters, is conducting the work.

Tidal turbines resemble wind turbines, with blades that turn a rotor to power a generator. Tidal energy can have advantages over wind power.

Tides are predictable whereas wind is not, the turbine sits on the ocean floor out of the way of boat traffic, and the equipment is not harmful to animal or marine life.

Two marine sensors were installed on Monday, June 21 to monitor water conditions and fish behavior. The concept tidal turbine will be place in the water on Tuesday, June 22.

A video camera and an audio camera (using sound to capture images) will be used to monitor the turbine and marine life in the vicinity. The Bourne Tidal Test Site is unique in the world in that it allows testing of the new technologies in slow water, and therefore, findings could have broad applicability.

Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative Executive Director John Miller said that although fully realized tidal power may be a decade away, the tests being conducted are an important step in gathering data in live conditions for future improvements.

Funding from the Seaport Economic Council supports the testing program.

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