Ocean currents contain a remarkable amount of kinetic energy and have potential worldwide capability. Initial tests to harness current power focus on the Straits of Florida where the Florida Current has a total flow capacity of about 30 × 106 m3 s−1. Generation of clean electricity from ocean currents off southeast Florida is based on a power extractor comprised by open-center turbine technology. This innovative turbine provides safe passage for fish and other aquatic species. The water-column array of energy production units (EPUs) will have a 350 km2 footprint, based on a 600 m (10 rotor diameters) downstream separation distance between EPUs with a lateral separation of 400 m. Water depths for the EPU field are in the range of 100 to 500 m. With such a large area of water column and benthic habitat utilized, environmental concerns must be overcome, including routing of transmission lines to shore. Risks and vulnerabilities of the proposed ocean current generated electricity include failure of individual EPUs and damage to sensitive coastal marine environments during installation.

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