Proposal for feasibility study of tidal energy generation from tacoma narrows
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Proposal for Feasibility Study of Tidal Energy Generation from Tacoma Narrows. Burton Hamner, President Puget Sound Tidal Power LLC Seattle, Washington. Consortium Representatives : Pam Klatt, Meridian Environmental Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, Evans Hamilton/UW COFS Dr. Bruce Adee, UW ME/EE

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Proposal for Feasibility Study of Tidal Energy Generation from Tacoma Narrows

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Proposal for Feasibility Study of Tidal Energy Generation from Tacoma Narrows

Burton Hamner, President

Puget Sound Tidal Power LLC

Seattle, Washington

Consortium Representatives:

Pam Klatt, Meridian Environmental

Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, Evans Hamilton/UW COFS

Dr. Bruce Adee, UW ME/EE

Dr. Julie Gustanski, Resource Dimensions

Dr Jim Dawson, BioSonics

Burt Hamner, PSTP/Williamson/Manson/CHE

[email protected]

The Tacoma Narrows

  • Bottleneck of ocean separating Puget Sound north and south; 1.5 – 2 km wide, ~100m deep, 4 km long, currents ~2 m/s = 4-6 knots peak.

  • City of Tacoma ~200k people

  • City of Tacoma Public Utilities dba “Tacoma Power”

  • Renewable power portfolio now required by law

  • It’s obvious to 90k cars/day on the Bridge – the Narrows has power

  • EPRI estimates that 15% power extraction = 120,000 MW

Could This Really Work?

And how, exactly???

Tacoma Power’s Tidal Project

  • EPRI study and this project sponsored by motivated Superintendent – Leadership!

  • EPRI study: “High-level” feasibility guess using standardized models

  • Phase I: Fine-level scoping for a Pilot Project: site, technology, construction, permitting, economics (~$120K => SOWs, Task Costs)

  • Phase II: Pilot Project – Install a Turbine and Study It

Who is Puget Sound Tidal Power LLC?

  • Established to Help Utilities Develop Tidal Power

  • Founder:

    • 25 years experience around Puget Sound and in 15 countries (US AID, UN, World Bank)

    • Environmental Planner for US Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District and WA Dept of Ecology

    • UW MBA + Master of Marine Affairs / Coastal Zone Management, now coordinating across UW depts

    • Former Director, Washington Environmental Council, People for Puget Sound, Seattle Aquarium Society

    • Clean Tech consultant for US AID, World Bank, UN and others – technology, deployment and financing

  • Technology: Patent pending on modular tidal accelerant device; owner of a Gorlov helical turbine currently being rigged for deployment with US Navy


  • Partners:

    • Local Dream Team of marine tech firms and specialists

    • Objective: Puget Sound Consortium that is best in the world at tidal energy projects

  • Business Strategy:

    • Consulting and Grant-Funded R&D

    • Small Tidal Power Systems – Remote Sites, Scalable. PSTP is NOT a utility-scale power developer

    • Help Others Succeed – Utilities, UW, the State – Create a viable tidal energy industry in the NW. Support our waterfront industries and communities.

The Puget Sound Tidal Power Consortium

  • Objectives

    • Provide unbiased, informed answers – no naive optimism or technology bias

    • Diversified team of local firms ensures continuity and stability – a team to grow with you

  • Diversity

    • Oceanography, marine technology and construction, environmental, economic and social, politically aware

    • Unique capacities: On Puget Sound, and in the world.

  • Management

    • PSTP LLC is coordinator and project manager

    • Tasks done in partnership with customer by the full team – get to know the family

    • Transparency: Customer participation at individual team member level – really get to know the family.

The PSTP Consortium

  • Evans-Hamilton Inc., Seattle

    • The leading oceanography consultants around Puget Sound

  • Williamson & Associates Inc., Seattle

    • Global ocean survey / engineering specialists

  • BioSonics Inc., Seattle

    • World’s leading fisheries hydro-acoustics firm; worked with two tidal power projects already

  • Manson Construction Co., Seattle

    • Leading marine construction firm in Washington

  • Coast and Harbor Engineering Inc., Edmonds

    • Leading coastal engineering firm; helped design Gorlov tidal turbine

  • Meridian Environmental Inc, Seattle

    • FERC licensing and environmental permitting; many years services to Tacoma Power

  • Resource Dimensions Inc., Gig Harbor

    • Economics, renewable energy economics and permitting/licensing

  • University of Washington

    • Oceanography, Mechanical Engrg, Electrical Engrg

Matrix of Qualifications

Where Are the Best Currents?

  • Evans-Hamilton and UW have the relevant data

  • Physical models show patterns

  • Numerical models like PRISM calculate power potential

  • Sites can be identified with high confidence, to prepare for:

  • Phase 2: Site Model Refining, Field Verification, Predictive Models

Team member Prof Mitsuhiro Kasawe, UW Oceanography, is a leader of the UW

PRISM modeling program used by EPRI for its Tacoma Narrows study

EHI Has the Site Data

What’s the Bottom Like There?

  • Williamson and Associates did the bathymetry and scouring studies for Tacoma Bridge

  • Current data correlates with bottom type

  • Phase 2: Site Studies

What’s Floating Through?

  • Fish, whales and logs

  • BioSonics Inc. does hydroacoustic monitoring for tidal power systems and more

  • Williamson Assoc: Side-scan long-range detection of transits

  • Phase 2: Site Studies

BioSonics & Verdant Power

  • BioSonics provides hydroacoustic monitoring for Verdant Power turbines in East River, New York City and for State of Connecticut test of Gorlov turbines

  • Designed the system and regime in negotiation with agencies

  • Deploy and monitor the impacts

  • The only firm in the world with this kind of experience

Verdant Power East River Project, Jan 07

Verdant Merrimack River Project, Sept 04

What’s Floating Through?

  • Marine Mammals: A Deal-Breaker

  • Meridian Envir / Jay Bruegeman will evaluate marine mammal issues

  • Bibliographic research to start

  • Phase 2: Acoustic monitoring systems will detect whale passage

Technology – What Makes Power?

  • PSTP will consider all feasible technologies – including developer competence

  • We might consider both bottom-mount and mid-water deployments

Technology Team

  • Dr. Bruce Adee, UW Naval Architecture / Mech Engrg / Human-Powered Subs – Principles for turbine technology selection

  • Dr. Kai Strunz, UW Electrical Engrg / Variable Power Systems – power production modeling

  • Dr. Vlad Shepsis, Coast and Harbor Engrg – Turbine design and array modeling, structure modeling

  • Williamson Assoc: Machine construction and underwater electrical engineering

  • Manson Construction – Deployment design

Technology Team

Technology - Developers

  • We Don’t Develop Turbines for Commercial Power

  • We Consider All Developers Objectively

  • Evaluation Criteria:

    • History

    • Product Development

    • Financing

    • Partners

  • Our Take on Leading Developers:

    • Verdant

    • Coastal Currents

    • Open Hydro

    • UEK

    • Lunar Energy

  • We Don’t Like Waves or Wave Power

The entire Team will participate in the technology evaluation.

Technology – How To Build It?

  • Design: UW, Coast and Harbor, Williamson Assoc.

  • Site Construction: Williamson Assoc., Coast and Harbor, Manson

  • Machine Construction: Williamson Assoc., Manson, UW

  • Sensors: BioSonics, Williamson Assoc.

  • Cabling: Williamson Assoc.

  • Power Conditioning and Mgmt: UW SESAME, Tacoma Power

  • Shore Connection: Tacoma Power

Environmental Permits

  • Start Scoping Early – 2 Year Process Probably

  • Team Special Skills:

    • Evans-Hamilton: Puget Sound Environmental Atlas

    • Meridian Environmental: FERC, Marine Mammals

    • Resource Dimensions: Hydro Projects Database

  • Issue Scoping – the Team & Tacoma Power

  • Follow NEPA/SEPA and FERC Guidelines incl cultural and traditional fishing rights – Cooperative Consultation Process

  • Help Tacoma Power create an agency working group as soon as possible

  • Meridian Environmental and Resource Dimensions: Permit process modeling, forecasting and costing

Power Modeling

  • Evans-Hamilton: Currents => Power/m2

  • UW SESAME: Power x Machine = Watts

  • Tacoma Power: Grid Feed and Mgmt = Watts Delivered

  • Resource Dimensions: Revenue Model

Project Economics

  • Begin econ modeling of components immediately with team members

  • Begin system modeling by understanding what kind of answers are needed by Tacoma Power

  • Cost-of-Energy model for pre-commercial and commercial production

  • Include variables for renewables incentives, partner financing

  • “Energy footprint” for project

  • Develop loaded cost estimates for Phase II SOWs

  • => SOWs and Costs for Phase II and permits;

  • => Budget model for commercial production

Then Tacoma Power decides: Go to Phase II or not?

Project Flow

Phase II Teaming

  • Bring in wind power engineering, BC tech partners – Hatch, Vestra, Powertechlabs etc.

  • Mobilize the US Navy – Indian Island, NSWS Carderock

  • Inter-Utility Teaming – AK, WA, CA – maybe BC

  • UW Tidal Tech Shoot-Out – with fish

  • Political and financial support – maritime industry, coastal communities, renewables $$

  • Go national – be The Place To Be for tidal power feasibility study

  • Respect the resource – stakeholder partnerships and consultation processes

PSTP LLC Development Activities- Our $, not Tacoma’s

  • We are committed to building broad support for tidal power in Puget Sound as justified by the facts

  • Funding:

    • Obtain State $$ for Tidal Power Testing Range to test machines affordably

    • Obtain Navy and NOAA $$ for small machines development

    • BPA $$ for tidal R&D

    • UW Tidal Energy Research Center – seeking $5M earmark

  • Politics:

    • Recognize ocean energy in State renewables incentives

    • Enlist maritime industry and coastal community support

    • WA State ocean energy interest organization

    • Federal support – Navy picks Puget Sound for national Tidal program

  • Other Regions:

    • BC, Alaska, San Francisco Bay in discussion now

    • Facilitate West Coast utilities peer working group

  • Big Engineering:

    • Partner with big wind / hydro companies eg. Vestas, Hatch, GE – bring them in after enviro / social viability is proven

Our Competitive Advantage

  • We are the home team, including unique capacities – Stable, robust, versatile – we have the local knowledge and national-class skills

  • All the skills you need now to evaluate and prepare for successful Phase II – if it’s justified

  • Committed to tidal power investigation beyond Tacoma

    • Help all developers do it right, in cooperation

    • Building political, technical, R&D, funding infrastructure to support you – off your budget

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