DOE awards ORPC more than $3.6 million for river-powered turbine technology

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) in Portland, Ore., has been awarded $3,615,260 to build, test and operate a modular current energy converter to improve the next generation of river-powered turbines.

This competitive funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office.

“Supporting research on innovative clean energy technologies will unlock the vast potential of renewables, helping to protect our environment and decrease energy costs,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome the Department of Energy’s investment in this promising project that aims to improve our ability to harness the power of rivers to supply homes and businesses with electricity.”

“ORPC is very excited about this U.S. Department of Energy award for its positive impact on accelerating both ORPC’s technology development and the company’s contributions to Maine jobs and economic activity. With this award, we look forward to adding staff in Maine and working with a Maine community to provide cost effective renewable energy solutions and create local jobs—a model that we can roll out across the U.S.,” said Stuart Davies, chief executive officer of ORPC.

ORPC is developing a modular system where each turbine-generator unit is installed as a stand-alone unit with the option for attaching adjacent modules to form horizontal or vertical arrays. The modules can be used to fit specific river geometries and other river constraints.

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