Underwater turbine power plants

The National Hydropower Association points to a new “land grab,” and likens it to the early days of Internet URLs.

There are dozens of applications at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to study the potential for tidal energy extraction in Washington, Alaska, California, Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire. There is almost a first-come, first-serve process occurring as utilities, governments and entrepreneurs race for permits to install underwater turbine power plants.

Feeling left out of a potential windfall revenue stream, Port Townsend on the Olympic Penninsula west of Seattle was surprised when they learned that the local utility was looking into tying up the rights to install over 400 underwater turbines on the tidal seabeds of Puget Sound.

I worked to promote submerged tidal and ocean current propeller power plants in the 1980s. Although I had the support of major engineering and heavy construction firms, I could not find a customer!

After a dozen costly penetrations into various sectors, I had to drop my efforts. Folks truly thought this proposal was pie in the sky, but more than that, it seemed to me that executives truly believed that the responsibilty should fall on someone else!!

The most common activity of almost every executive or manager I’ve met is to defer.