This test will allow MRECo to demonstrate the capability of BTTS to provide a controlled test environment in ocean waters for new hydrokinetic technologies. BTTS is a test berth for marine energy technologies and underwater sensors located near the Buzzards Bay end of the Cape Cod Canal.
"Harvesting energy from ocean currents is emerging as an enormous global opportunity. It is predictable, environmentally benign, and makes no claims on land space. It is fair to say that the market is much more advanced in Europe and the U.K. than is currently the case in the USA. BTTS's pre-permitted and instrumented test capability will allow rapid domestic progress on marine energy devices in a real-world environment," remarked David Duquette, CEO of Littoral Power Systems, Inc.
The USACE license extension allows testing to proceed while MRECo applies for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license, which will enable the organization to connect to the electrical grid. Additionally, MRECo is working toward BTTS's receiving approval under the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office's Testing & Expertise for Marine Energy (TEAMER) program. TEAMER allows technology developers to conduct physical testing of mid-scale prototypes – including hydrokinetic devices, sensors and subsea communication devices – using Federal funds. As a TEAMER site, BTTS will provide the infrastructure and support needed for Technology Readiness Level (TRL)-gated development for testing in a relevant open water environment. Final approval of BTTS under the TEAMER program is contemplated in spring 2023; among other things, the site needs to clear National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review.
BTTS permitting has been primarily funded to date by the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council and the Falmouth Economic Development and Industrial Corporation.