EASTPORT — What’s being called the country’s first commercial-scale tidal power generator is being launched in eastern Maine.

Ocean Renewable Power Co. ‘s first fully assembled turbine generator unit, 100 feet long, about 15 feet high and rigged with long, curved turbine foils, is to become operational in August and connected to the grid to deliver electricity to Maine consumers starting in October.

Ocean Renewable President Chris Sauer says today’s dedication marks the end of eight years of hard work and fundraising. Sauer has called Eastport the “Kitty Hawk” of tidal energy.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who helped secure funding for the project, calls it “a monumental achievement.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine says the project will help increase the nation’s energy independence.

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