CASTINE — Federal regulators have given Maine Maritime Academy’s Tidal Energy Demonstration and Evaluation Center the green light to begin testing in the Bagaduce River.

Executive Director Rick Armstrong says the order this week allows testing to begin on a low-flow turbine that a local inventor wants to patent. For now, Armstrong can’t comment on specifics of the project.

Eventually, Armstrong hopes the research center can become a key source for unbiased testing and evaluation of tidal turbine technology. He says the research center also hopes to help the regulatory community understand what types of questions need to be asked.

Along the way, he says Maine Maritime students will get training and develop skills for a growing renewable industry that holds great potential.