Outlook for Tidal Power

Outlook for Tidal Power

June 11, 2014

A group of ocean energy veterans talked at the 7th annual global marine renewable energy conference in Seattle in late April about what progress they are making to generate electricity from tidal currents.

The panelists are Christopher Sauer, CEO of Ocean Renewable Power Company, Ronald Smith, founder and president of Verdant Power, Craig Collar, assistant general manager of the Snohomish Public Utility District in Washington state and supervisor of a pilot tidal energy project in Puget Sound, Dr. Ralf Starzmann with the Josef Becker Research Institute in Spay, Germany, and Bill Bolin, a distinguished engineer adviser with Anadarko Petroleum. The moderator is Keith Martin with Chadbourne in Washington.


MR. MARTIN: Chris Sauer, your company has been in business for 10 years. Your major achievement so far has been an eight-month test of a small project off the coast of Eastport, Maine. You just pulled it out of the water to evaluate its condition. Why does it take 10 years to get this far?

MR. SAUER: This was actually our third project where we have generated electricity in the water, and our project this summer in Alaska will be the fourth. It did not take us 10 years to get something in the water. That said, this stuff is hard to do, and that is why it has not been done before. The biggest constraint is capital. It is hard to raise the capital to do things in a timely manner.

MR. MARTIN: You pulled the project out of the water. It is a group of turbines each of which is 100 feet long and tube shaped?

MR. SAUER: There are four turbines each of which looks like a twisted water wheel in an underwater proto-magnet generator. The water wheel is about 100 feet wide. It sits about 10 meters off of the bottom and has a rated capacity of 150 kilowatts. It was actually in the water off and on for about a year. We pulled it out.

Our Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license and our US Department of Energy funding require us to do an annual teardown. We also had some issues. The interesting thing is that none of the issues had to do with the technology. They had to do with other things like bolts and connectors that are standard parts that are available off the shelf.

After we pulled it out, we did a complete teardown and inspected it and decided that it would be a wiser use of our scarce financial resources to put the money into optimizing the design rather than fixing it and putting it back in the water because we knew, based on the performance, that we need to improve the efficiency. We are in the middle of doing that and hope to have it back in the water as part of a five-megawatt project in about a year and a half.

MR. MARTIN: Is it bolted to the seabed or suspended from a buoy on the surface?

MR. SAUER: The system has three parts. There is a steel bottom support frame that goes in first and that holds the turbine-generator unit. Next, we attach the underwater power and data cable to the frame. Then we lower the turbine-generator unit on to the bottom support frame, plug it in and secure it and start generating electricity.

MR. MARTIN: You said you need to alter the design to improve the efficiency. What is the number one design change on which you will be working?

MR. SAUER: One of the issues has been too much friction in the drive line, so we are changing the type of bearings we use. As one of our senior electrical engineers used to quip, friction is a drag. It was stealing kilowatt hours from us. There is a whole laundry list. None of them is earth shaking or critical, but there are just so many opportunities for improvement. If we are going to make money in this business, we have to have the most efficient machine.

Evolving Business Plan

MR. MARTIN: Like any good company, you modify your business plan as you go along. You started out calling yourselves “Ocean Renewable Power Company.” Your next project is suspending one of these turbines in a fast-moving river outside a small village in Alaska. Do you foresee more remote power generation in rivers than ocean energy in the future?

MR. SAUER: No, I think it will be a combination of both. The core technology is turbine-generator units that should work equally well in rivers and tides. The basic technology is the same in both applications. The river unit is just much smaller.

The idea for the river unit came out of discussions that Doug Johnson, who leads our efforts in Alaska, and I had at the Artic energy conference in Anchorage in 2007 where we went to talk about our tidal technology, and people asked us whether we could do the same thing in rivers. “We have a need here,” they said. So we started design work on our riv-gen system. The riv-gen system will require a different business plan. These are systems that we will perfect and then sell and service. The tidal part of our business will remain a build, own and operate business in which our revenues will come from electricity sales.

MR. MARTIN: The small town in Alaska where you plan to test the riv-gen system this summer has a population of about 70. Where will the money come from to pay for the system?

MR. SAUER: Most of the money will come from the Alaska Energy Authority. There will also be some private capital.

MR. MARTIN: Moving back to Maine, you have a contract with Emera, a Canadian utility, to put in a five-megawatt system in the Passamaquoddy Bay between Maine and Canada. When does the power contract require the system to be in commercial operation?

MR. SAUER: It is a very forgiving contract. I spent a lot of years of my life negotiating power purchase agreements. This is the best such agreement, as we are not required to do anything by a set date. When we install our equipment and deliver electricity to the utility, which is the former Bangor Hydroelectric Company, now called Emera Maine, we get paid for the electricity. If we never deliver any electricity, there are no penalties. The contract requires the project be in a particular location and that it use tidal energy to generate electricity.

MR. MARTIN: How much will Emera pay you for the electricity?

MR. SAUER: We will earn 30¢ to 32¢ a kilowatt hour initially. That consists of an energy price of about 21.5¢, plus about 6.5¢ for renewable energy credits and then another small amount when some congestion is cleared up on Emera Maine’s transmission system.

MR. MARTIN: Is your technology currently economic at that price?

MR. SAUER: No. That is why we are continuing to work on the design. We believe the new turbine-generator unit will work at that price.

MR. MARTIN: How large will each turbine be at commercial scale? Your Eastport one was 150 kilowatts.

MR. SAUER: The design optimization will take it to about 250 kilowatts. We are planning within five years after that to move to 450-kilowatt units.

MR. MARTIN: You have two more projects potentially in the works. One is in the Bay of Fundy where I think you plan to be merely an equipment supplier?

MR. SAUER: We have been working in Nova Scotia since 2007. We have not locked in yet to a specific project, but we have good relationships with everybody there and eventually that will become a priority for us. Alaska is our next priority. We have also gotten very involved in Chile. We have formed a subsidiary, ORPC Chile, and we have somebody representing us in active discussions for projects. There are still small projects of maybe a half a megawatt to two or three megawatts.

Verdant Power

MR. MARTIN: Ron Smith, Verdant is as well known a name in tidal or ocean energy as Ocean Renewable Power Company. You, too, have been in the business for a long time: 14 years in your case. You have had a demonstration project in the East River in New York City near Roosevelt Island. It has been at demonstration scale since 2006. You are now planning to increase the generating capacity. The larger project should be operating by 2015. Let me ask you the same question I asked Chris Sauer: why does it take so long to get this far?

MR. SMITH: We incorporated in 2000, started working in the East River in 2002, and deployed two turbines in late 2006. During that whole time, there was no infrastructure like the folks sitting in the room today. We were out there by ourselves working with the regulators. We were helping to define what the regulatory process should be for these types of projects. It took from December 2003 to December 2006 just to work through the regulatory maze to be able to put six turbines in the East River. So that is reason number one.

Reason number two was the world was not ready for this kind of thing in 2006. We got some funding in 2006. We deployed in 2007 through 2009. By 2008, interest in tidal and ocean energy had grown enough that the industry had its first global marine renewable energy conference in New York City. Then the financial crisis hit in the fall 2008. Since 2008, the pacing factor has been availability of capital.

MR. MARTIN: Your East River project was in the water for three years before you pulled it out. There was a problem with degradation or rust on the blades. Is that the main issue? Did the experience suggest ways to improve the design?

MR. SMITH: We deployed a field of six turbines from May 2007 and pulled them out of the water in September 2009. In 2008, we started working with various US Department of Energy labs — Sandia, NREL, Oak Ridge and others — to address design and reliability issues for a commercial system starting with five-meter rotors. We have the five-meter system ready to go. We put the rotor in the water in September 2012. The next step is to traverse the valley of death to which so much attention was given when the Obama administration first took office — the notion that money can be raised for pilot tests and for full-scale projects that use commercially-proven technologies, but there is almost no money for the effort in between of scaling up from pilot scale to prove the technology.

MR. MARTIN: You plan to go next to 30 turbines with a total generating capacity of 1.05 megawatts?

MR. SMITH: Yes, in the East River. The East River is a little over ten meters deep, and our rotors are five meters in diameter. Each of the 30 turbines will have a capacity of 35 kilowatts. We could just as easily put in 60-kilowatt turbines, but they would not be optimal for the site. At deeper sites, we will move to 11- to 12-meter rotors and depending on the water speeds, the 11-meter rotors could support up to 350- to 400-kilowatt turbines.

MR. MARTIN: What will happen to the 1.05 megawatts of electricity?

MR. SMITH: We hope to sell it to Cornell University, which is building a graduate school on Roosevelt Island. Cornell is interested in a zero-energy phase one for the new campus.

MR. MARTIN: We heard from the previous panel that one of the big problems with generating equipment in rivers in Alaska is it is taken out by floating debris. No generating equipment put in an Alaska river has lasted more than a year and a half before being flattened by debris. Is debris a problem in the East River?

MR. SMITH: No. Our turbines yawl with the tides, so as the turbines rotate, the small amount of debris just passes with the tide.

MR. MARTIN: Your turbines are mounted on poles that are affixed to the riverbed?

MR. SMITH: That was true of the first six turbines we had in the water from 2006 through 2009. We wanted to get these turbines and array in rapidly to show the potential of the technology, so we did it with known technology, which was basically six monopiles driven into the bedrock of the East River. That is not cost effective. In the future, we will be deploying the turbines on what will look like monopiles potentially in a tri-frame shape.

MR. MARTIN: One thing that Chris Sauer did not mention, but that is true of both your companies is that both companies do consulting for other tidal and ocean energy developers. You were the early pioneers of this technology. You are not afraid to share what you have learned with others who may become competitors — or customers. Doug Johnson with Ocean Renewable Power Company said on the previous panel that his company is helping others who want to do projects in Alaska benefit from his experience there.

In your case, you are helping a utility in Turkey that got a grant from the US government to explore a 17-megawatt hydrokinetic project near an existing hydroelectric dam. Is the idea to use your turbines eventually near that dam?

MR. SMITH: Yes. We are doing a resource assessment. A significant amount of the funding is coming from the US Trade Development Agency. The project is for the national electric utility in Turkey, Electricity Generation Turkey.

Installed Costs

MR. MARTIN: What is your installed cost currently per megawatt of capacity?

MR. SMITH: We have done a lot of modeling with five-meter rotors and then moving to larger systems. We have a pipeline that runs out to 2021. The early projects, including the Turkish project, have an installed cost of approximately $7 million a megawatt eventually moving toward slightly less than $4 million by the end of that pipeline.

MR. MARTIN: Why does such a high installed cost work for a 17-megawatt project in Turkey?

MR. SMITH: As we just heard about rural Alaska, there are a lot of places in the world that marine energy has a lot more value than it does in the lower 48 US states. Seventy-five percent of Turkey’s energy comes from gas imports from Russia, Iraq and Iran. Turkey has a strong incentive to use indigenous resources to generate its own power.

MR. MARTIN: Craig Collar, Snohomish Public Utility District is a small utility. It has a normal load of about 1,000 megawatts and a peak load of about 1,600 megawatts?

MR. COLLAR: Yes, that is about right.

MR. MARTIN: So your peak load is a little less than the peak load of the municipal utility in Yakutat, Alaska, which we heard from the previous panel has a peak load of 1,700 megawatts. The Yakutat fisheries cause a spike in electricity demand during the summer.

The Snohomish PUD is required to deliver, 15% renewable energy by 2020. Hydro does not count as renewable for this purpose. Where are you in relation to the target?

MR. COLLAR: We are at about 10% now, but you can also meet the renewable portfolio standard through the amount you invest. If we invest 4% of our annual retail revenue requirement in renewable energy facilities, then that will close the gap to 15%, and we have done that.

MR. MARTIN: What percentage of the 10% is wind?

MR. COLLAR: Almost all of it.

Puget Sound Test

MR. MARTIN: The reason you are here is you have been working on a pilot-scale tidal project in Admiralty Inlet in Puget Sound. I think you are still two years away from completing the pilot?

MR. COLLAR: Yes. Our target at this point is to get the hardware in the water in 2016.

MR. MARTIN: How long will the test run after that?

MR. COLLAR: The plan is to run the turbines for three to five years under the license we got a couple weeks ago from FERC for the pilot test. That’s an applause-worthy kind of accomplishment! [Laughter and applause.]

Each of the turbines will produce power at a peak of about 300 kilowatts, but the goal is really just to gather data. We want to understand the technical, economic and environmental viability of tidal energy development in Puget Sound.

MR. MARTIN: I believe your FERC permit suggests that any follow-on project built to scale would be 29.3 to 75.3 megawatts. Do I have that right?

MR. COLLAR: That might have been what was in the permit, but really we tend not even to speculate about what a commercial project would look like. We need the data first.

MR. MARTIN: What would you need to see from this project in order to move to scale?

MR. COLLAR: The project would have to meet or exceed our expectations in terms of the output of the turbines, the durability and the maintenance cycles, but it will probably depend a lot more on what happens in the world around us: prices on carbon, where the region goes with wind and the success of our energy storage efforts. We will be installing about eight megawatt hours of battery capacity during the next year or so. A lot of things could happen over the next several years that will probably have as much influence on whether a commercial project makes sense as the success of this pilot.

MR. MARTIN: You said in 2011 that you need to see electricity from tidal at about 15¢ a kilowatt hour to have a realistic shot at supplying power to your system. Is that still the breakpoint?

MR. COLLAR: It is hard to say. We are at least several years away from a commercial tidal project. A lot of things will affect the breakpoint. Electricity prices have been falling lately. We had a recession. We have had a huge glut of wind in the region. In the spring when the load is light, the price of energy goes negative. These are all things that probably will change in unpredictable ways between now and the middle of the next decade.

MR. MARTIN: You are using a turbine supplied by OpenHydro Group in Ireland for your pilot-scale project. How does its turbine differ from the ones that Chris Sauer and Ron Smith described?

MR. COLLAR: The OpenHydro turbines are permanent-magnet direct-drive generators. They sit on gravity-based foundations. One of the reasons we selected OpenHydro almost five or six years ago was that the turbines had several years of operating history. We were also attracted to the simplicity of the device. There are no gear boxes or other power train elements, which hopefully will translate into robustness. This was also something that frankly we thought we could get permitted in the Puget Sound. We do not have any reason to believe the OpenHydro design is less harmful to fish or marine mammals than other turbine designs, but it looks like it is. And, frankly, that makes a difference. It really does.

MR. MARTIN: How far down underneath the water surface will the turbines sit?

MR. COLLAR: They will sit in about 200 feet of water.

MR. COLLAR: We heard on the previous panel someone had an energy conversion efficiency factor of 30% for his turbine and 50% for another turbine. Do you know the conversion factor for the OpenHydro turbine?

MR. COLLAR: You cannot do an apples-to-apples comparison. The turbines we will use have been designed to gather data as opposed to maximize output. It probably makes more sense to talk about this project in terms of dollars per unit of information than it does in terms of kilowatt hour.


MR. MARTIN: Ralf Starzmann from the Josef Becker Research Center, what do you do at the center?

DR. STARZMANN: Basically the center was created to diversify Schottel’s product range.

MR. MARTIN: Schottel is a manufacturing company that makes propellers or propulsors for ships?

DR. STARZMANN: Marine propulsion systems basically. Schottel invented the rudder propeller, which is used mostly in harbor vessels, including here in the Seattle harbor. The company has been building propulsion systems for ships for nearly 70 years. The idea was to create a research center to diversify the product range, and one of the first ideas was to build a turbine that can be used in water instead of a propeller since it requires more or less the same skills. A turbine is rotating machinery in seawater, and that is our specialty.

MR. MARTIN: I looked at a diagram of your device. A gravity base sits on the riverbed. There are two arms that stretch upward from the base and that hold a horizontal array of small propeller-like turbines, like two arms holding up a shield to the current. The array has 16 or 36 small turbines attached to it. I could not tell whether the array is also held in place by something floating on the surface.

DR. STARZMANN: You are describing the support structure. How do you install a turbine? How do you maintain the turbines? Our experience with ship propulsion systems makes us quite sure that we need regular maintenance in these conditions. We do not believe in the fit-and-forget approach. There were some ideas, some sketches, about how to mount multiple small turbines on a support structure and, after a Google search, we found a company in the UK called TidalStream that already develops a kind of semi-submersible floating platforms. They are basically moored with two rigid tether arms to the seabed on a single point mooring, and the platform basically pivots around the mooring depending on the flow direction of the tides.

MR. MARTIN: Is there a barge or something similar permanently above the turbine array?

DR. STARRZMAN: No. The platform is surface piercing so we can have access to the electrical equipment in situ. You can de-ballast the whole system to get the platform to the water surface and then have access to the turbines for maintenance.

MR. MARTIN: You tested this device with the help of a tugboat. Your next step is to move to the Bay of Fundy where the Nova Scotia government is allowing you and OpenHydro to use your devices in the Bay. Tell us a little more about what is planned there.

DR. STARZMANN: The tugboat was used for a pushing test just of the turbine without the support structure, so the support structure and the turbine are two separate topics. We were awarded one of two berths three weeks ago to test the TidalStream Triton platform together with our small Schottel STG turbines, and OpenHydro is of course testing its own technology on another berth that was also awarded three weeks ago.

MR. MARTIN: How has the development effort been funded so far? We heard from Ron Smith and Chris Sauer their biggest challenge is money. Is all of your money coming from Schottel?

DR. STARZMANN: Yes. We are not Siemens or Alstom, so we are not one of the big players, but we are a quite significant company. We have a turnover of roughly €330 million per year. We got a small grant for the development of just the turbine in Germany, but all the other research and development of the STG turbines is funded by Schottel.

Company Burn Rates

MR. MARTIN: How much are you spending per year on developing this?

DR. STARZMANN: It has been increasing. It is roughly about €2 million per year right now.

MR. MARTIN: Chris Sauer, what is the burn rate of your company per year?

MR. SAUER: It depends on what projects we are doing. If you separate just the burn rate of the basic company, it is $2 to $2.5 million a year, but when you start putting hardware in the water, it gets very expensive. We will be closer to $6 million this year with the riv-gen project.

MR. MARTIN: Ron Smith, what is your annual burn rate as a company?

MR. SMITH: It can range from $1 to $4 or $5 million a year.

MR. MARTIN: Bill Bolin, your company, Anadarko, is a big petroleum company. Why is it interested in tidal energy?

MR. BOLIN: We work in the deep Gulf of Mexico. We have spars that are in 1,800 to 7,000 feet of water. We are putting one now in 7,000 feet of water, and we get loop currents at that depth. A loop current is like the Gulf Stream. We have looked at getting renewable energy out of the flowing ocean currents. The deep water does not scare us, but the type of turbine you would need in water that deep is awfully large. It needs to be in the 40- to 45-foot range.

MR. MARTIN: What capacity?

MR. BOLIN: If you look at the propeller, you would say, “This sucker is huge and has tremendous forces on it.” There would be tremendous challenges making the typical propeller work. We came up with a different design and tested it a 1/10th scale at the University of Michigan hydrodynamics lab, and it worked. So we built an 8-foot propeller and tested it in the Gulf of Mexico. The next step is to build four 40- or 45-foot propellers and generate one megawatt of power. If you’re not generating a megawatt worth of power in the deep water, you will not make any money.

MR. MARTIN: Is this an effort by Anadarko to diversify out of petroleum? Or is it an effort to generate power for use in your own offshore rigs?

MR. BOLIN: Offshore rigs do not need the additional electricity. They have lots of generators and lots of power. In fact, the underwater turbines would probably be in the way of tie-down buoys and all this stuff that we have to hold everything in place. The goal is to get renewable energy out of the flowing oceans like the Gulf Stream. The Caribbean islands, South Africa and Japan have strong ocean currents but little space on land to put power plants. This could be a real boon to such countries.

MR. MARTIN: How far offshore would the devices be situated?

MR. BOLIN: You do not want the generator to reverse. It depends on where you are and how deep the ocean is. You probably need to be 1,200 to 3,000 feet deep before there would be any reversals. The water is moving at six feet per second and maybe a little faster than that in the Gulf Stream.

MR. MARTIN: Are you developing the technology internally? Do you have engineers? Or are you contracting out the engineering work and design to the University of Michigan or others to design and build for you?

MR. BOLIN: We designed, built and patented it. We have the resources and the know how to do stuff in the water. We use some outside firms for things like the mooring systems, but as far as the rest of it, once you have the propellers, the rest is fairly straightforward. It needs to be able to operate 200 to 500 feet below the water.

MR. MARTIN: It sounds like you have had one pilot-scale facility working. For how long?

MR. BOLIN: We tested it by pulling it around for four days in the Gulf of Mexico. There is no test facility in the world that tests ocean currents. Florida Atlantic University is working on one. We hope they get it going, as we would love to have a grid-connected one where we could build and test our turbine on the grid.

MR. MARTIN: You dragged the turbine around for four days. What is next?

MR. BOLIN: We need to build a full-sized unit, install it in someplace that actually needs the power and connect it to the grid.

MR. MARTIN: When do you think that will occur?

MR. BOLIN: It depends on our partners. We have three potential partners to whom we are talking now.

MR. MARTIN: These are other oil companies?

MR. BOLIN: No. They are investors.

Target Markets

MR. MARTIN: Let’s broaden the discussion to the larger panel. A lot of what each of you described is still very expensive, but it is economic in remote places. It is economic in Turkey. It is economic in rural Alaska. Do you see in the near to medium term that being your primary market or are you really competing for the utility-scale business against other renewable and thermal generators?

MR. BOLIN: In the Caribbean, people are paying at least 40¢ to 45¢ a kilowatt hour for electricity. Some of those Caribbean islands have 60% to 80% of their gross national product tied up in buying hydrocarbons. A lot of it comes from unstable places like Venezuela. This could be a paradigm shift for them.

MR. SMITH: I think you have to work up a scale. We start with projects where there is some local economic value that justifies current costs. The utility-scale projects come later.

MR. SAUER: We are targeting the high-cost markets to start, and those are not necessarily rural markets. There are countries where the cost of power is fairly high. For example, in Chile you can be on the grid and pay 26¢ a kilowatt hour. Our philosophy has always been to do smaller projects, primarily in remote areas, because the costs are high and we can provide benefits from day one. Such projects help us to refine our technology and bring the cost down with volume.

Over time as we reduce costs, we can move to grid type of applications in countries where costs are in the 15¢ or 20¢ range per kilowatt hour. Will we be able ultimately to compete with old coal plants in Pennsylvania? I don’t know. But there are not a lot of tidal sites in Pennsylvania, so we are not too worried about it.


MR. MARTIN: Lay out a timetable. How do you see the tidal part of the industry unfolding? There will be a period of how many years when you are still dabbling in the Turkey project, the Alaska project, doing pilot projects in Passamaquoddy Bay, and then when do you think you get to utility scale and be able to compete at least on the coasts with other forms of independent generation? Ron Smith, I think you said three to five years.

MR. SMITH: Right now, our plan is to deploy and prove the technology in the East River by 2015 to 2016. In 2016, we will begin laying the foundations for deployment of one or two projects in Turkey and potentially the United Kingdom that would be built out from 2016 through 2018. We will operate those for a couple of years and, in the meantime, begin deploying additional projects in 2018 through 2020. Our hope is the technology will become commercial in five to seven years.

DR. STARZMANN: We plan for deployment at FORCE in 2016.

MR. MARTIN: Deployment at FORCE means the test project in Nova Scotia?

DR. STARZMANN: Yes. It will be a 2.5-megawatt installation, so we think this is not only a technology demonstration but also a commercial demonstration. We think that we can get a significant internal rate of return on this demonstration, so we believe that we will be commercially at a rather good stage after we demonstrate the technique.

MR. MARTIN: The project will go in service in 2020?

DR. STARZMANN: Earlier hopefully. As indicated, our goal is to be in operation in 2016.

MR. MARTIN: Craig Collar, you look at these companies as potential suppliers of electricity to you. When do you think the tidal part of this industry will have reached a commercial stage?

MR. COLLAR: I think it will take another seven to 10 years.

MR. MARTIN: Bill Bolin from Anadarko, when do you think your device will be commercial.

MR. BOLIN: It depends on our financing. We can build the unit, and power cables are available. We could actually install it fairly quickly, but we don’t have the financing today to do it.

One of our problems is we can earn a lot more money from drilling oil wells than from undertaking this kind of project. We think we have some unique talents that could help people who live on islands and for whom energy is very expensive. The ocean currents run all the time. However, it would take a paradigm shift on some of these islands and maybe even Japan that are importing a lot of oil.

MR. MARTIN: So, hard to predict . . .

MR. BOLIN: Hard to predict when our project will get financing.

MR. MARTIN: Is Anadarko experimenting with other renewable energy technologies or are you putting all your eggs in the tidal basket?

MR. BOLIN: We own the tops of some of the mountains that have wind turbines on them, but beyond that, this is not our core business.

MR. MARTIN: Chris Sauer, how do you see this industry developing and over what time period?

MR. SAUER: It depends on what you call commercial scale. I don’t think we will see 200-megawatt projects built because potential investors will want some operating history before investing. We need to do smaller projects first, and get the operating data, including data on the environmental effects. We just released our second annual environmental report under our FERC license for our Penobscot Bay project, and it contains great news because it says the same thing as the first annual report but with a lot more data to support the conclusion. There are no known adverse impacts to the marine environment. That is good for the whole industry.

Raising Money

MR. MARTIN: Chris Sauer and Ron Smith, you both suggested one reason it has taken you both so long to get as far as you have today is the difficulty raising money. Where d