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News from MRECo
Tidal Turbine Deployment at BTTS
Tidal Turbine Deployment at BTTS
Tidal Turbine on Lifting Arm at BTTS
First Tidal Turbine Deployed at Bourne Tidal Test Site
The Bourne Tidal Test Site (BTTS) welcomed its first test turbine after the COVID shutdown. The first turbine deployed at the BTTS was a conceptual design provided by Littoral Power Systems, Inc. of New Bedford.  Two additional turbines were scheduled to be installed in 2020, but both were cancelled due to COVID 19 logistics. MRECo continues to receive inquiries from turbine developers in the US and from foreign entities because the BTTS offers a stable platform with near laboratory conditions in ocean water.
The Bourne Tidal Test Site, is the only permanent test stand designed specifically for tidal devices in the world. This is a partial scale (10 foot diameter vs. 40 foot diameter full scale turbines) test site that allows a transition from testing in university tanks to full scale avoiding some of the failures that have happened with deploying larger prototype turbines too quickly. It is also more cost effective costing as little as $30,000 for a test versus several million at full scale sites.  The BTTS offers testing at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 5/6, partial scale in relevant conditions, at a secure and easily accessible site.

 This partial scale site was financed by the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council and will cost less than 1% of what the full scale sites cost. This is a very good value for positioning Massachusetts as a go-to place for the emerging tidal energy industry, which is part of the Blue Economy.
The next step is for MRECo to qualify for the TEAMER (Testing and Expertise for Marine Energy) program which coordinates testing sites and facilities for ocean energy devices.
Sensors Installed at MOST

Sensors Can Be Tested Economically on the Massachusetts Ocean Sensor Test Bed

There is a new test site for marine sensors in Massachusetts. This past June, the MRECo operations team, lead by Eben Franks, installed sensors to monitor water conditions and fish behavior at the Massachusetts Ocean Sensor Testbed (MOST) located in the Cape Cod Canal. A video camera was installed to monitor any fish activity in and around the location where a tidal turbine would be installed. Since video cameras require lights to work in darkness and these change fish behavior, an acoustic camera was also deployed. Acoustics use sound to capture an image. These demonstrated that sensors can be tested in ocean water for prolonged periods at reduced costs, compared with boat testing.

The work described above was funded by a grant by the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council of $197,000 to Falmouth Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC) and MRECo to develop this unique testbed. The effort will improve the power and broadband accessibility on the BTTS test platform. Sensors are key to the Blue Economy because you can’t manage what you can’t measure. MOST provides a secure, stable platform for long term sensor testing with continuous power and real time sensor data cost effectively.

There is a high concentration of sensor developers and builders in the Southeastern New England area and they should be aware of this state of the art, economical test stand to conduct sea trials and long term tests of their equipment.

All of this innovative work would not be taking place without the Commonwealth’s strong support for the Blue Economy and, particularly, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and State Representative David Vieira.
MRECo Welcomes Three Board Members 
Photo: Officers and New MRECo Board Members, left to right, new Director David Duquette, Board President Steve Barrett, new Director Andrea Brady, Executive Director John Miller and Treasurer Bill Staby. Not picture is new Board Member Ray Schmitt.

-ANDREA BRADY Atty. Buchanan and Associates, Boston
   Ms. Brady is an attorney with a legal background in governmental and
   international waters law, the MA Attorney General's Office, and private legal 
-DAVID DUQUETTE Littoral Power Systems, New Bedford
   Mr. Duquette is an attorney and the Founder and CEO of Littoral, and was  
   ExecVP and General Counsel at Semandex, a software company. 
-Dr. Raymond Schmitt Salient Predictions, Woods Hole
   Dr. Schmitt is President and Co-Founder at Salient, which provides long-
   range weather forecasting, and is President and Founder of Neil Brown
   Ocean Sensors. He is an Emeritus Senior Scientist at WHOI, and has
   previously advised the DOE on marine renewable energy matters
Many Thanks to Dr. Robert Shaw, who tirelessly dedicated his engineering prowess, team management experience and enthusiasm for all things tidal and marine to the MRECo board. His tenure was remarkable and very appreciated by the entire MRECo team. We are eternally grateful to him for his surprisingly clear and well produced videos and many photos of the installation of the BTTS and of many operational sessions since installation in the Cape Cod Canal.

“Many thanks to you and the other MRECO players for the opportunity to contribute to the worthy goal of furthering alternate energy devices and instrumentation. It has been a real pleasure! A great ride!” said Dr. Shaw, “It is time to yield to someone with more energy and direct experience in the area. By doing so we can all hope for further MRECO success at Turners Falls, the Bourne Tidal Test Site in the Cape Cod Canal, and the Muskeget Channel operations. Thank you all”
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