Puget Sound tidal energy in-water testing and development project


C. Collar – US Department of Energy Final Technical Report, November, 2012

Abstract

Tidal energy represents potential for the generation of renewable, emission free, environmentally benign, and cost effective energy from tidal flows. A successful tidal energy demonstration project in Puget Sound, Washington may enable significant commercial development resulting in important benefits for the northwest region and the nation. This project promoted the United States Department of Energy’™s Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program’™s goals of advancing the commercial viability, cost-competitiveness, and market acceptance of marine hydrokinetic systems. The objective of the Puget Sound Tidal Energy Demonstration Project is to conduct in-water testing and evaluation of tidal energy technology as a first step toward potential construction of a commercial-scale tidal energy power plant. The specific goal of the project phase covered by this award was to conduct all activities necessary to complete engineering design and obtain construction approvals for a pilot demonstration plant in the Admiralty Inlet region of the Puget Sound. Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County (The District) accomplished the objectives of this award through four tasks: Detailed Admiralty Inlet Site Studies, Plant Design and Construction Planning, Environmental and Regulatory Activities, and Management and Reporting. Pre-Installation studies completed under this award provided invaluable data used for site selection, environmental evaluation and permitting, plant design, and construction planning. However, these data gathering efforts are not only important to the Admiralty Inlet pilot project. Lessons learned, in particular environmental data gathering methods, can be applied to future tidal energy projects in the United States and other parts of the world. The District collaborated extensively with project stakeholders to complete the tasks for this award. This included Federal, State, and local government agencies, tribal governments, environmental groups, and others. All required permit and license applications were completed and submitted under this award, including a Final License Application for a pilot hydrokinetic license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The tasks described above have brought the project through all necessary requirements to construct a tidal pilot project in Admiralty Inlet with the exception of final permit and license approvals, and the selection of a general contractor to perform project construction.

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