New Turbine Test Site Is Built With Hope To Promote More Clean Energy Sources

A tugboat positions the barge that at the construction site of the new turbines. Gene M Marchand/Enterprise

Cape Cod will soon be the first in the US to install the Bourne Tidal Test Structure.  The structure is built to test tidal turbines and showcase them off to potential buyers.

This is the second on installed in the world with the hope that the by displaying the structure, cities and buyers will see the benefits created from the tidal energy.

It has taken several years for this project, funded by a grant from the Seaport Economic Council and strongly supported by State Representative David T. Vieira at the local level, and Congressman William R. Keating at the federal level, to be vetted by organizations such as the Bourne Conservation Commission and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.

Permits had to be granted by Chapter 91 (Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), the local zoning board, the National Marine Fisheries under the Federal Endangered Species Act and the Marine Animal Protection Act and the Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Review and Real Estate Review (to be sure the test structure would not harm the environment or the canal, or impede the bridge or canal shipping).

John R. Miller, executive director of Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative of Marion said the next stage is to find customers.  “In new industry, people initially only see the drawings and they don’t quite believe in the project. As soon as he put out a press release saying that they had approval to start building, he got calls from three companies.”

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