The world’s first large-scale, grid-connected tidal energy turbines can be built in the waters of Puget Sound thanks to a federal license granted to the Snohomish Public Utility District. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the go-ahead (85-page PDF) for the Admiralty Inlet project, which would see tidal turbines capable of generating up to 600 kilowatts of electricity installed on the seabed in 200 feet of water west of Whidbey Island, WA. The utility says contracting, construction, and deployment of the turbines—to be manufactured by Ireland’s OpenHydro—will progress over the next two years. The turbines would be in place for three to five years to evaluate their commercial potential and environmental impacts through close monitoring of noise, sediment movement, and fish and marine mammals, among other things.
By Benjamin Romano, Xconomy