The Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo) announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Conte Fish Research Center to manage tidal testing in its large flumes in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. John Miller, Executive Director of MRECo, noted that, “We are very excited to be working with Conte to provide a standard two week test for in stream or tidal turbines, lowering the risk and costs of testing new technologies.”

Tidal energy is capable of providing very reliable and predictable power to the electrical grid. While tidal, like most renewable energy sources, is not continuous it is more predictable than wind or solar, and it’s generation devices sit below the water out of sight. There are many communities globally that are not grid connected, but 85% of the world’s population lives within 50 miles of an ocean. Marine energy promises an almost limitless supply of energy, but the challenges of surviving in the ocean must be met. In addition to helping new companies commercialize their technologies, MRECo has partnered with the town of Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard to develop a tidal project in Muskeget Channel, between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

MRECo is a non-profit organization that works to facilitate the growth of marine renewable energy by bridging the gap between academia and industry. Working with researchers at regional universities, MRECo engages industry to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies. In particular, it is developing a regional test infrastructure, the New England Marine Energy Development System (NEMEDS) for tidal and wave generation devices to be thoroughly tested so they can withstand the harsh ocean environment. The Conte flumes offer the first step for in water device testing, with larger devices to be tested at a planned site in the Cape Cod Canal, and full size turbines to be tested at a site in Muskeget Channel. Once fully implemented, NEMEDS would make Massachusetts the only place in the United States that a device could tested through the full process to commercialization. http://www.mreconewengland.org/

The S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Branch is a government facility established to conduct basic and applied scientific studies of fish passage and migration. The Conte Center has the largest flumes in the US and can provide a controlled, instrumented facility for testing turbines as well as studying the impact of turbines on fish. http://www.lsc.usgs.gov/?q=conte-anadromous-fish-branch

Questions about booking time at the flumes should be directed to John Miller, Executive Director, MRECo; [email protected] ; 508.728.5825. MRECo; P.O. Box 479, Marion, MA 02738

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