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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Tidal Energy Commission

Underwater turbine verdant powerIn June 2007, Governor Lynch signed HB 694 (Chapter 222, Laws of 2007), establishing a tidal energy commission to study the feasibility of tidal power generation, specifically in the Piscataqua River under the Little Bay and General Sullivan Bridges. The commission was comprised of representatives from the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate, state agencies, the municipalities of Dover and Newington, the University of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Commercial Fishermen’s Association, the National Marine Fisheries Service, environmental protection and advocacy organizations, and the general public.

At its inaugural meeting in August 2007 the commission elected co-chairs, former Rep. Thomas Fargo from Dover, and Kenneth Baldwin, representing the University of New Hampshire, as well as a vice chair, Ted Diers, representing the Coastal Program at NHDES. The commission also selected the Coastal Program to coordinate the efforts of the commission.

The commission met 11 times over the course of a year with its four subcommittees working between meetings. The subcommittees focused on the following subject areas: permitting requirements; public and business community outreach; environmental and wildlife impact analysis; and cost and benefits analysis. After a year’s worth of scrutiny of the site’s unique conditions and the state of the technology, the commission determined that it was premature to build a commercial tidal energy project under the Little Bay and General Sullivan Bridges. The commission found that currently available tidal energy technologies are too new at this point to warrant installation and require further research on their suitability for tidal rivers with multiple commercial and recreational uses like the Piscataqua. The commission determined that the Piscataqua River site would be an ideal place to further test these technologies, and the University of New Hampshire is taking the lead on the testing. Links to the commission’s reports, text of HB 694, Chapter 222 commission members, meeting information, and other related links are listed below.

Commission Information

Meeting Information

Meeting Minutes:


February 15, 2008:

January 18, 2008:

September 20, 2007:

August 29, 2007:

Related Links in the News:



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