State Rep. James Cantwell, D-Marshfield, wants the state to encourage research and investment in hydrokinetics – the harnessing of energy from moving water – by allowing private companies and municipalities to sell back any energy they create through this technology to utility companies.
Researchers are working on devices that harness energy from the ocean’s tides and waves, as well as from upland rivers and streams. Work is underway to develop small devices that could attach to piers, docks, marinas or breakwaters to take advantage of the energy in smaller waves hitting fixed structures up and down the coast. Most would remain under the water or look like buoys, blending in with other moorings, and not be visible to the public. But without the ability to sell back energy, MacDonald said, there may not be a lot of interest.