A Portland renewable energy company received a $200,000 federal grant to help it develop technology that harnesses electricity from flowing rivers and tides.

Ocean Renewable Power Co. received the grant through the federal Small Business Innovation Research program, according to a joint news release from Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins. The money will help ORPC advance development of a tidal-powered energy storage system to provide renewable electricity to the rural community of False Pass, Alaska.

If the project is successful, it could help commercialize the technology for deployment in rural communities worldwide.

The company successfully tested a pilot program in the Alaskan village of Igiugig using its RivGen Power System, built at Brunswick Landing.

The system is a fully submerged turbine generator that harnesses the power of river currents to produce energy. In April, the company celebrated the commercial launch of the RivGen Power System at Brunswick Landing, which included remarks by Gov. Janet Mills.

The company’s TidGen Power System was used to harness tidal power in Cobscook Bay in Lubec and Eastport in 2013, successfully sending electricity to the grid.


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