ORPC picks turbine shafts supplier for tidal power systems

US-based marine energy company Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) has selected Millinocket Fabrication & Machine to manufacture the turbine shafts for its portfolio of tidal power systems.

ORPC's Modular RivGen device (Courtesy of ORPC)
ORPC's Modular RivGen device (Courtesy of ORPC)
ORPC’s Modular RivGen device (Courtesy of ORPC)

In addition to providing the turbine shaft for the Modular RivGen device, Millinocket Fabrication will supply similar components for ORPC’s commercial RivGen device and its TidGen-80 device, currently under development and scheduled for initial testing later this year in Cobscook Bay in Eastport.

Earlier this year, ORPC announced its plans to create a testing center at One North to support design and development of the next-generation Modular RivGen.

The Modular RivGen will be assembled, tested and showcased later in 2022 at Maine site, and according to ORPC, the company will work together with One North to evaluate the site as a future hydrokinetic testing facility and a location to demonstrate contemporary use cases such as electric vehicle (EV) charging.

Stuart Davies, ORPC’s CEO, said: “The addition of Millinocket Fabrication & Machine to our Maine-based suppliers demonstrates the capabilities and quality workmanship of Maine contractors, as well as their competitiveness with manufacturing facilities outside the state. Our company is expanding its footprint in Maine and adding jobs. Securing business with Millinocket Fabrication helps strengthen ORPC’s strategy for market growth ahead.”

Fred Lewis, President of Millinocket Fabrication & Machine, added: “We are excited to be working with ORPC and look forward to manufacturing the components needed for their product testing. We have been designing and manufacturing parts for our partners on the former GNP site for over 100 years and we are happy to welcome a new business to the One North industrial site.”

In 2022, ORPC’s RivGen Power System, operated in partnership with the Village of Igiugig in Alaska, became the longest operating hydrokinetic project in the Americas.

It provides baseload renewable power from the free-flowing Kvichak River to the remote community and with the addition of a second RivGen device, smart grid controls and a battery energy storage system now in progress, Igiugig will reduce its diesel use by 60-90%.

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The Igiugig project represents an exemple of how ORPC can provide clean renewable energy to remote communities worldwide, replacing diesel-fueled microgrids, lessening diesel dependence, and lowering carbon emissions, noise, and environmental risk.

Over 700 million people worldwide depend upon diesel microgrids, and two billion people have little or no access to electricity. According to the company, ORPC is responding to market opportunities in over 40 countries and has active projects in Canada and Chile, in addition to Alaska.

As for ORPC’s Modular RivGen system, it has been designed for use in grid-connected markets, with applications for large rivers, EV charging networks, hydroelectric facilities, irrigation canals and bridges, piers, breakwaters and flood controls systems.

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