As the discussion around climate changes continues to evolve, it’s obvious that our planet needs us to create new ways to harness energy in a manner that lowers our reliance on oil, and decreases our overall carbon footprint. In Oregon, a Portland-based company has been awarded a federal grant from the Department of Energy to the tune of well over $3 million dollars, to advance its technology to harness power from rivers.
The company, Portland’s based Ocean Renewable Power Company, has been awarded a grant of $3,875,869 so that the company can continue to move forward on their important technology that harnesses power not from traditional sources, from rivers. This kind of technology could drastically affect the way that energy is utilized, and is a step forward in reducing Portland’s carbon footprint.
In a statement, Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree had this to say about ORPC receiving this grant: “Renewable energy is the key to a clean future for our children and grandchildren, and Maine has huge potential to lead clean energy innovation—both in wind and tidal power”. The Congresswoman continued on to say that this grant would position Maine as a leader in both wind and tidal power.
The funds will be used to modify Ocean Renewable’s current turbine design as well as existing equipment to advance hydrokinetic infrastructure building, which will make it more accessible and useful to people living in more remote, rural communities.
This new technology is predicted to help harness tidal power and water flow to create carbon-free electricity, which would be a massive accomplishment and should set a standard for other parts of the state and the country. ORPC was actually the first company to be able to deliver electricity from tidal turbines, it first managed to do this in 2012, when the company held a demonstration project in Cobscook Bay.
Perhaps even more impressive than that, ORPC also tested out its river turbine on a remote Alaskan village and was able to provide power to over 30% of that village’s residents.