USA: CPM Constructors Awarded for ORPC’s Tidal Energy Project Work
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) awarded CPM Constructors with a 2013 Build America Award for New Municipal & Utility Construction at AGC’s 94th Annual Convention in Palm Springs, California, on March 7, 2013.
CPM won for its construction of the first phase of Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC’s) Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project in Lubec and Eastport, Maine, the first commercial, grid-connected tidal energy project to be built in the U.S.
AGC’s Build America Awards annually honor new construction and renovation in the categories of buildings, construction management, design-build construction, environmental enhancement, federal and heavy construction, highway and transportation construction, international construction, and municipal and utility construction. Awardees are judged on excellence in project management, innovation in construction or use of materials, contribution to community, and several other categories.
“Projects like the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project are few and far between,” said CPM Constructors’ CEO Eldon L. Morrison. “I am proud to say our team overcame the project’s many unique challenges using creativity and Maine ingenuity. It has been deeply gratifying to accept this prestigious award from AGC.”
After two years of planning, CPM began assembly of the 46.5-ton bottom support frame for ORPC’s TidGen™ Power System in February 2012. The following month, CPM installed the frame on the ocean floor and drove ten piles to secure it at a depth of 90 feet below low water. Starting in June 2012, CPM erected the 41.5-ton TidGen™ turbine generator unit (TGU) at the company’s facility in Eastport, Maine, and laid 4,000 feet of bundled underwater power and data cables beneath the ocean floor to connect the TidGen™ Power System to ORPC’s on-shore station. On August 14, CPM joined the TidGen™ TGU to the already-installed bottom support frame in Cobscook Bay, and within a month, the system was sending power to the grid.
The project’s challenges included meeting critical construction deadlines tied to environmental regulations safeguarding marine life in Cobscook Bay, and needing to tightly script and rehearse work occurring in an ocean region with super currents and the highest tidal range in the world.
Press Release, March 25, 2013; Image: ORPC