The world’s oceans have the potential to provide boundless energy with the ebb and flow of the tides. Tidal energy has been viable since the first tidal power plant was installed in France during the 1960s. As the price of conventional energy has increased, along with a global push towards sustainable energy, the viability of tidal power has increased to a new level. Following a 2009 agreement between the DOI and FERC, energy companies have been rushing to the coasts to obtain development licenses for tidal power production; as of 2010 there have been 66 preliminary permits issued for tidal energy production in the US alone.
Suitable areas for tidal energy capture are often found in dynamic near-shore environments where mass sediment movements alter shoreline equilibriums on an annual basis, presenting many challenges for the design and installation of tidal power plants. In addition to the physical challenges of the near-shore environment comes the responsibility of maintaining a low ecological footprint; near-shore environments are home to highly productive and sensitive ecosystems.
Terra has the tools and experience necessary to collect data in challenging near-shore environments that will help guide the design, construction and maintenance of tidal energy facilities. Terra also has extensive experience in providing data for underwater electrical transmission cable studies, including feasibility studies, route planning, landings, and existing cable assessment.