Experimental turbine set to be launched off Maine coast

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The power of ocean tides that sweep out from the easternmost shores of the United States have for more than 80 years teased engineers with dreams of harnessing their force to make electricity.

This week, a device that resembles an eggbeater turned sideways will be lowered into the water off Eastport, Maine, to catch the energy of the rushing water, spinning a generator that, come September, is scheduled to begin sending power to the grid.

The experimental project has one distinct advantage over wind power — predictability.

“When the wind blows you get electricity, but you don’t know when that’s going to be,” said Chris Sauer, CEO of Ocean Renewable Power Company, which built and will operate the turbine generator unit, called TidGen.

Click here for a video gallery that shows how the device works.

Click here for the full report by The New York Times.

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