TEAMER introduces new tidal test site for open-water testing

The U.S. Testing Expertise and Access to Marine Energy Research (TEAMER) program has added the Bourne tidal test site (BTTS), operated by the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative of New England, as its newest open-water testing facility.

Source: Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative of New England

Located in the seven-meter deep waters of the Cape Cod Canal in Massachusetts that experiences flows over 1,5 meters per second, the grid-connected testing platform permits open-water testing of prototype tidal devices up to three meters. 

The platform, supported by three piles, features a central lifting arm for the deployment and retrieval of turbines up to 3 meters in diameter. The test aperture width avoids blocking issues typical of bulkhead or barge testing.

The BTTS was established in November 2017. The site is suitable for testing tidal energy components or turbines up to three meters in diameter with a maximum output of 100 kW.

This test facility is expected to help marine energy device designers obtain valuable information that will enable them to scale up and commercialize more efficiently.

Related Article

According to TEAMER, the testing platform evaluates efficiency, durability, energy generation potential, and environmental effects. The generated power can be sent to the grid through nearby substations.

Open water testing is typically one of the final stages before full-scale deployment of a device, said TEAMER.

Source: Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative of New England

In April 2024, the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo) secured an eight-year pilot license from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for conducting tests on tidal turbines at the BTTS in Bourne, Massachusetts. 

The BTTS stands as the only tidal test site in the U.S. that attained this license. With this license, the turbines can directly feed renewable electricity into the grid.

Related Article