Tidal flow in San Francisco

URS Corporation is to conduct a feasibility study to examine if tidal flows in San Francisco Bay can be tapped as a source of energy.


URS Corporation has been selected by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to conduct a feasibility study to examine if tidal flows in the San Francisco Bay can be tapped as a source of energy.


Tidal flows in and out of San Francisco Bay consistently generate high-velocity currents in the Golden Gate narrows, some of which could theoretically be captured by submerged in-stream tidal energy devices.


The devices themselves would be submerged at depth in the 300ft-deep passage to avoid visual impacts near the Golden Gate Bridge. Most in-stream devices look like the underwater equivalent of wind farm turbines.


The key issues to be addressed in the study are how much energy is available, how much can be extracted without adversely affecting the tidal exchange, what the impact might be on protected fish and mammal species and, most importantly, is the concept economically viable.


The study will also produce recommendations on which specific energy devices should be deployed in a pilot study near the Golden Gate.