HMMH Wins DOE Tidal Energy Project

September 16, 2009: Burlington, MA

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) has been selected by the US Departmenty of Energy (DOE) to lead environmental impact assessment studies for the proposed Edgartown Tidal Energy Project.  Funded under DOE’s Advanced Water Power Program, the winning proposal, titled “The Environment Effects of Sediment Transport Alteration and Impacts on Protected Species Project,” will be an important step toward initiating permitting for a 1.5 MW Tidal Energy Project proposed by the Town of Edgartown in Muskeget Channel east of Martha’s Vineyard.  The project will be managed by Steve Barrett, Director of Clean Energy at HMMH.

The objective of this study is two-fold: (1) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with sediment transport alteration of two established tidal energy technologies – horizontal open bladed turbines mounted on monopoles and horizontal helical turbines that float from moorings; and (2) to collect and analyze information on the occurrence and potential impacts of protected species in the project area.

HMMH will direct, administer, and communicate all aspects of the proposed environmental studies program.  HMMH will also communicate the tidal project’s goals and the objectives of the proposed environmental studies to regulatory staff, local governments, and stakeholders and interest groups.  HMMH and the Town of Edgartown will use the information generated to support federal, state, and local permit applications associated with the first stage pilot project.

Our team includes several outstanding reasearch groups, including: UMASS-Dartmouth School for Marine Science & Technology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS), and the Battelle Memorial Institute.  UMASS and WHOI will collborate on a study of the potential changes in sediment movement caused by the tidal energy project and potential impacts on benthic communities.  PCCS will evaluate the existing populations of protected species such as seals and sea turtles in Muskeget Channel.  Battelle will provide support in Geographic Information Systems and data analysis.

The project will start in December 2009 and be completed over a two year period.

Stephen Barrett, Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc.
77 South Bedford Street
Burlington, MA 01803
T 781.229.0707