Re: “Letter to the editor: Tidal power could prove winning industry for state” (Dec. 13):

This was a well-composed perspective for a local engineering producer of energy in Maine, but at what level?

Sometime back in the 1980s, I spent a holiday weekend cross-country skiing in northern New Hampshire. I stayed at a small lodge.

One evening, the lodge owner, a friend of his who was retired from GE and I found ourselves engaged in a sometimes-lively discussion on sources of electrical power in New England.

At the time, I was an employee of a Maine electrical utility. Our discussion came to a head on the history of different sources of generating electric power in Maine and other regions of America, going back to the Great Depression.

The Northwest built the Grand Coulee Dam and others on the Columbia River. The Southwest built the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The Plains built Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River. The Southeast built the Tennessee Valley Authority hydroelectric dams.

The Northeast and New England looked at an entirely new form of generating power: tidal power from the Atlantic Ocean and the tremendous tide changes of Passamaquoddy Bay. But for several reasons, the New England region proposal never got going.

The owner of the lodge where I was staying became livid on the subject: “That was in the 1930s!” he said. “And nothing has changed.”

My view today is that small, local tidal power projects may be the only way such an idea may come to reality. A large, multinational, foreign-financed, foreign-built tidal power project will never happen here. It should be locally engineered, designed and built with local labor, local financing and through our private and public universities and colleges.

Dennis Marrotte