Environmental Fantasy (Really, This is Just A Fantasy)

The main objection to these platforms was aesthetic. People complained that anything so large would ruin the seascape.  But here in the Bay of Fundy the prototype is actually almost a mile offshore and, as it floats on the water’s surface, is invisible to the naked eye. This particular platform – they are called “power islands” by their developers, a name I don’t believe will last – is 300 X 30 feet and is affixed at each corner to a rig that looks like a small drilling platform. The 900 square feet plane moves with the depth of the tide on upright rods that look like axles. In this spot the height of the plane will vary as much as fifty feet from low to high tide. When it drops, it simply drops with gravity – there is no resistance and no power produced. But when the tide is rising, gears along the length of the buoyant plane engage and resist the tide.  The ocean, as it rises and pushes the plane upward, work the gears that in turn propel turbines that, in turn, produce electricity.
The proponents of the machine – an odd mixture of venture capitalists and clean-energy environmentalists – say that this single platform will produce enough power to provide regular service for the little town of Annapolis Royal, some twenty-nine miles away.

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