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FERC Approves Alaska Tidal Project

William Opalka

FERC logoThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a successive preliminary permit 240-MW tidal energy project in Alaska.

In February 2013, Turnagain Arm Tidal Energy filed an application proposing to continue to study the feasibility of the Turnagain Arm Tidal Electric Generation Project. The project would be located on the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet and adjacent lands of the Kenai Peninsula Borough near Anchorage, Alaska.

The project would consist of an 8-mile-long tidal fence situated between Fire Island in the Municipality of Anchorage and Point Possession in the Kenai Peninsula Borough consisting of 24, 10-MW low-head, bi-directional horizontal bulb turbines for a total installed capacity of 240 MW. It would include: a 2-mile-long, 1-mile-wide water storage tank attached to the tidal fence; one control building/substation onshore near Anchorage and one near Point Possession; an 18-mile-long, 230-kV submerged transmission line connecting the tidal fence to the existing Chugach Electric Association substation at Point Woronzof in Anchorage and a new substation at Point Possession; and a 28-mile-long, 230-kV above-ground transmission line running parallel to an existing Homer Electric Association transmission line corridor and extending from Point Possession to the existing HEA Nikiski substation.

The proposed project would have an estimated average annual generation of 1,271,950 MWh.

The company previously held a three-year preliminary permit for this site that expired Jan. 31, 2013. Much of the interest in tidal energy in the US is based in Alaska.

The current permit has been issued for two years.



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