ORPC Selects Maine Company to Fabricate Second Commercial Underwater Power System

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 10:13 AM | Adelaide Taylor (Administrator)

Portland, Maine, August 11, 2020 – ORPC, Inc., a global energy solutions company with expertise in microgrid development and marine renewable energy systems that generate power from free-flowing rivers and tidal currents, has selected Downeast Machine & Engineering of Mechanic Falls, Maine,­ to build the structural components for its second commercial RivGen® Power System device.­

ORPC will install the device in Igiugig, Alaska, in 2021, as part of a multi-year project supported in part by funding to the Village of Igiugig from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technology Office and Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, as well as private investment.

ORPC installed the first RivGen device, also constructed and assembled by Downeast Machine, in the local Kvichak River in 2019. When completed the Igiugig project will feature two RivGen devices, smart grid controls and electronics, and an energy storage system, resulting in baseload power supplied from renewable river energy and a 90% reduction in the community’s use of diesel fuel. 

“The Igiugig-ORPC partnership is the model marine renewable energy project in the United States today and exemplifies a long-term and predictable renewable energy solution available to remote communities around the world,” said ORPC CEO, Stuart Davies.

“We are very excited to, again, have the opportunity to work with ORPC in the manufacture, fabrication and assembly of a second RivGen device,” said Michael Bertrand, Project Manager for Downeast Machine. “These large-scale, fabricated assemblies are uniquely suited to our highly skilled fabricators and industrial-sized fabrication facility.”

ORPC is Maine-based, with headquarters in Portland, an operations center in Eastport, and an engineering laboratory in Brunswick, where the Downeast Machine team will assist ORPC engineers with final system integration of the RivGen device. ORPC has a project office in Alaska, operates subsidiaries in in Montreal (ORPC Canada) and Dublin (ORPC Ireland), and is working with project partners in Patagonia, Chile. For more information, visit www.orpc.co.

Downeast Machine’s headquarters is in Mechanic Falls and its fabrication facility is in Leeds, Maine. The company provides quality design, machining, fabrication, and industrial maintenance services throughout Maine and northern New England. The company was formed in 1979, and purchased its Leeds facility in 2011, retrofitting it using a Maine Rural Development Authority loan. In 2016 Downeast Machine became 100% employee owned. Its Leeds facility specializes in large fabricated drums, vats, tanks, and other products in stainless steel, high end stainless alloys and carbon steel, transforming plates of steel into fabricated, machined and painted fully finished and customer-ready products. For more information, visit https://www.downeastmachine.com.

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