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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tidal turbine plan fails to win support
Ocean View meeting turns hostile over proposal

By SUSAN TOWERS
Delaware Wave
03/04/2004

A proposal to install 28 pairs of electricity-generating turbines in the Indian River Inlet was met by a hostile audience of about 300 during a public hearing Wednesday in Ocean View.

Philippe Vauthier, president of UEK Corp. of Annapolis, attempted to explain how his company's turbines could produce electricity efficiently while protecting the environment. Turbines create refuge for the fish migrating in and out of the inlet, he said.

But Vauthier was constantly interrupted as residents argued that fish would be killed by the force of the turbines, harming the popular fishing and boating area.

Some people in the crowd also criticized the Swiss-born Vauthier's French accent, which they said made it difficult to understand him. Shouts of "We can't understand you, speak English," and "Let the man talk," were heard above the rumbling of voices.

The proposal is being made by Vauthier's company together with UEK-Delaware LP. The turbines would be 10 feet wide and 21 feet tall and spaced about 30 feet apart to capture the strong currents moving in and out of the inlet.

The company has estimated the series of turbines could generate as much as 10.8 kilowatts of electricity, or enough to power 4,000 to 10,000 homes.

Vauthier, who holds the patent on the design of a turbine to be used in tidal waters, has been working on the design since 1981. And although the design has gone through testing, Vauthier said it has not been installed and operated in any inlet or river setting.

Several in the crowd voiced their dismay that their inlet, and the fish within it, would become part of an experiment.

"This is an invention," Vauthier said, pointing out that many investors are more interested in it than in building shopping centers.

State Sen. George H. Bunting Jr., D-Bethany Beach, who attended the meeting, said he could not see Vauthier's plan coming to fruition.

"Although the concept has merit, [UEK] has not been able to show anyone a successful demonstration project," he said.

Bunting referred to a report issued late last year by the Delaware Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement, a think tank made up of retired engineers and scientists. While the report was positive regarding the project's efficiency, lack of pollution, inexpensive maintenance costs and unobtrusive presence, it questioned its feasibility, cost, and potential impact on habitat, navigation and infrastructure.
 

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Thats what I am talking about....Good for them...power of the people. Those turbines would be devestating to the fish population down there, which in turn would eventually affect us as well!
 

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Where would the turbines be and how many of them are there? I don't know if it would be as bad as some people think. It's not an oil refinery or even hot water discharge. It's just a wheel that spins because of the current going through it. They could probably put some kind of metal screening around the turbines to keep the fish out. Plus, how fast are they spinning? Maybe fish could swim right through. They may not be anymore harmful than a windmill. I don't know anything about them - I'm just trying to look at the other end of the spectrum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally posted by aquasport190:
Where would the turbines be and how many of them are there?
I copied this Info from another site that
is following this Situation...
---------------------------------------------
INDIAN RIVER INLET TIDAL POWER PROJECT
Plans to construct a tidal power demonstration project in Indian River Inlet, Delaware, are
advancing. Although application has not as yet been made for state or federal permits, project
proponents anticipate developing a feasibility project using a single unit within the year, and
proceeding to commercial production by 2006. Each unit consists of twin, reversible turbines
that are 20 ft wide, 10 ft high, and 16 ft long; the final design is for 28 units (10.8 MW) to be
phased in over a 4-5 year period.
Indian River Inlet provides the principal means of ingress and egress for migratory organisms
using the Delaware Inland Bays, which collectively provide nursery and feeding habitat essential
to dozens of species managed by the Magnuson Fishery Management Councils and/or Atlantic
States Marine Fisheries Commission. Potential impacts of the generating units (e.g., vibration,
entrainment, impingement, pressure changes) on living marine resources have not been
addressed. The University of Delaware, College of Marine Studies, has been suggested to
design studies to address biological impacts. Some data should soon be available from a similar,
but nontidal, project that was recently permitted in the Yukon River, Alaska.
------------------------------------------

They will be anchored "daisy-chained" together by a central cable. (he never mentioned any other hardware that would be necessary to stabilize the units, surely some will be necessary)

It appears the initial installation will start at the mouth of the jetty and run ito the inlet 43 feet out from the south jetty! The depth of the daisy chained units will be 4 feet at mean low water! The units will be spaced on the daisy chain 45 feet apart..
------------------------------------------------
 

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if you ever see the inlet at full outgoing on a full moon tide it is rippin' a dangerous inlet i have fished it over a 20 year period putting turbines in could cause a lot of problems for the wildlife etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

The Indian River Inlet,Delaware
 

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Are they assuming that only water and fish flow through inlets. What about the debris? I don't know wnything about the inlet or the turbines but I know inlets are sometimes unfishable due to debris moving around, and I would think that this would cause a problem with big spinning wheels. Makes you wonder if they really thought this through. Imagine your power going out because weeds and debris clogged the turbines. Maybe it's impossible, just a thought.
 

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Sounds like a great idea. Any method that harnesses the wind, tide, etc. w/o adding polution or wasting valuable resources sounds like something worth trying.
 

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It sounds like an interesting idea. But hey the people don't want it so lets just build a coal powered generator on the beach and take the water from the inlet and dump it right back in the ocean! It's not like it would be bad for the inviroment. :rolleyes:
 

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Lets put the turbines across the mouth of the del bay and see how many of you are for it :rolleyes: .
Jersey has plenty of inlets to try them in ;) , I don't fish iri but I do not like us being used to test their inventions to pad the pockets of the industies and the enviroment and fisheries pay the price. :mad:
 

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Relax, its never going to happen, just like the windmill farms. Right now the electric prices are low. Cost prohibitive.
 

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I'm no engineer but it seems to me if the current is driving the turbines then no water should be moving any faster than the current. It may increase the water velocity some if there's a wide mouth and a narrower discharge but I would think that would disipate rather quickly. I also would think the envirormental impact would be far less severe than fuel burning or nuclear generator. It's probally the same principle used in dams. But again I'm no expert!
 

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Bgsdad - that's what I was thinking. However, I don't know what it's going to look like when it's done. It might screw things up for navigation. We'll just have to see how it plays out. They might end up being some good structure for bass (both striped and sea).
 

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Originally posted by Bgsdad:
I'm no engineer but it seems to me if the current is driving the turbines then no water should be moving any faster than the current. It may increase the water velocity some if there's a wide mouth and a narrower discharge but I would think that would disipate rather quickly. I also would think the envirormental impact would be far less severe than fuel burning or nuclear generator. It's probally the same principle used in dams. But again I'm no expert!
Bgsdad, The dam principle is close but in a dam you take standing water and then force it through the turbines witch sounds to me to be more damageing to the eco-system. Aqua, the units are to be 4'below low water, If your boat draws that much you won't be abel to go to far past the inlet anyway the bay isn't that deep like the Del. bay that's why there is no comertial fleet that uses that inlet. I'm not saying they should just go and put this system in but it does sound like it's something that should be looked at a little closer. But you have to remember this is the same area that after all the proper permits and studys the "Tree Huggers" managed to put a stop to a dredgeing prodgect that would have dredged 4 1/2 mi. of canal that links IRBay to the Assawoman Bay witch is dieing due to lack of O-2 due to lack of flow. The only thing that is flurishing is the Algi plooms. There are no fish and very very few crabs to catch fish you have to go south to Fenwick (Ihaven't had any luck there) or OC.MD.
 

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one eye willy that is some good DAM advice..... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
From March 10th Delaware Wave:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Maryland company proposing to install turbines in the Indian River Inlet will continue to try and gain public and government support for the idea, despite the struggles it faced at last week's public hearing.

"We definitely will work with the fishermen in order to lessen their concerns," said David O. Rickards, the Delaware limited partner and marketing manager for UEK Corp.

UEK is seeking not only support from the local community, but it also needs venture capital money, and permits from a variety of government agencies including the Army Corps of Engineers, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

So far, it has not entered into any permitting processes.

The attempt to build public support occurred last week when Rickards joined UEK President and CEO Philippe Vauthier in Ocean View to present information.

However, once many in the audience realized they were going to have difficulties understanding Vauthier's Swiss accent, order disintegrated and the presentation was never completed.

UEK is a research and development company proposing to install a series of 28 pairs of bi-directional hydro turbines in the inlet. The turbines, 10 feet in diameter and 21 feet in length, would be suspended beneath the surface in order to capture the tidal waters moving in and out of the inlet.

Their blades, turned by the current, would generate electric current that would be harnessed by a transformer on shore.

The system would then be connected directly to the electric grid via nearby power lines, the company said in written documents.

The company estimates that enough electricity would be generated to power between 4,000 and 10,000 homes.

The company also said the turbines would improve conditions for fish by aerating the water and creating refuge areas.

Opposition from the area's fishing and boating population is not the only obstacle faced by UEK.

A report produced by the state's Technical Advisory Office in December of last year brought up serious concerns regarding the fact that UEK has no commercial track record.

"The project has no technical merit at this stage," said Paul E. Sample, the state's technical coordinator. "There is no commercial experience."

The report also cited several problems. One of the 10 mentioned was the unknown negative impacts to the navigation within the channel from the turbines and their associated anchors, power cables and flotation devices.

The report also questioned the economic feasibility of the project.

The report was produced in cooperation with The Delaware Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement, which is a think tank made up of retired scientists and engineers.

Rickards told The Wave that Vauthier will go back to the organization and make another presentation to its members. He believed that the group of scientists and engineers had not received enough information from UEK to have made an educated recommendation.

Rickards also predicted that it would be easy to receive the necessary permits needed. He said he had spoken with a representative of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, for example, who had told him there probably would not be any problem with fish kills.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife official Bob Pennington, however, told The Wave the agency will require an application from UEK, and that it will take a long serious look at the proposal.

"We are concerned not only about fish populations, but about diving ducks," he said. "We will examine a proposal such as this very closely. We have made no official statements."

The total project is estimated to cost about $10 million. Rickards said that initially the company will need to raise $1 million to install the first turbine.
 
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