Nation's first commercial, grid-tied tidal turbine deployed

For a while, the tidal turbines in New York City's East River were making all the news.

Today, Maine is in the spotlight. The Ocean Renewable Power Company launched a tidal energy project in Cobscook Bay, which is connected to the Bay of Fundy, famous for its tides. The first of several turbines was to be lowered into the water, and the goal is that it will start cranking out the power by Sept. 1.

Natural Resources Defense Council energy expert Nathanael Greene blogs about it here. He notes that the project is "the first in the U.S. to receive a FERC license, negotiate a power purchase agreement, and install and operate a power-producing tidal generator.

Initially, it will produce enough energy to power just 75 to 100 homes, but OPRC plans to add more devices and produce enough power for 1,000 homes.

And here's the Department of Energy report on the project. It quotes U.S. Sen. Susan Collins: "Maine is well positioned to lead the nation in tidal energy development. The Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project is one example of the type of actions we need on a national scale to stabilize energy, prevent energy shortages, and achieve national energy independence."