Ocean Renewable Power Company announces plans to generate renewable energy in Alaska with Tidal Generators

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) – who planned to build a tidal generator in Nikiski – has announced their interest in a second tidal site. The company hopes this second site can harness the strong tides in the inlet to power machinery at Port MacKenzie, across Knik Arm from Anchorage.

ORPC is familiar with Alaska’s tides and their ability to create power as they already have a freshwater hydrokinetic generator in Igiugig on the Alaska Peninsula. However, this new development will be the first generator in saltwater in Alaska. 

Merrick Jackinsky, ORPC Development Director, who’s based in Anchorage, said the generator could fully power the machine that keeps the dock at Port MacKenzie from corroding into the inlet – called a cathodic protection system. He estimates the project could create 80 kW of power for that machine.

Saltwater poses its own challenges for tidal tech and will require some extensive R&D to get it functioning as needed. The mechanisms will be similar, using the in and out motion of the tide to spin turbines which are connected to an underwater generator. This energy source could be more dependable as the tides are much more predictable than solar and wind.

Jackinsky said ORPC looked at Port MacKenzie as a project site a while ago. But at the time, there wasn’t a lot of information about the Cook Inlet belugas in the upper inlet, which is why the company turned its focus to the site in Nikiski.


Since then, he said, there’s been more research about the belugas there and more interest in renewables from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which owns the port.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at www.swansonreed.com/webinars or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts