Nova Scotia identifies Bay of Fundy tidal center site

Marine energy experts have identified a site in Minas Passage of Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy as ideal for a first demonstration of tidal energy turbines in the province.

The site is on the northern side of the Bay of Fundy near a rock called Black Rock about ten kilometers west of Parrsboro. It has depths of up to 45 meters at low tide, a sediment-free bedrock sea floor, straight-flowing currents, and water speeds up to 10 meters per second on ebb and flow. Experts chose the site based on 12 months of research that cost more than C$1 million (US$816,000).

Minas Basin Pulp and Power Co. Ltd., a sustainable energy and resources company based in Hantsport, Nova Scotia, plans to construct infrastructure for a tidal demonstration center established by the province at the site. The company will connect tidal devices in the Bay of Fundy to Nova Scotia's electric grid. (HNN 1/11/08)

The Fundy Tidal Energy Demonstration Project will feature three underwater turbine berths, marine-to-shore cables, on-shore substation, and connection to the power grid.

Companies employing various technologies are working toward first occupancy of the facility: Clean Current Turbines, using a Clean Current Mark III turbine; Minas Basin Pulp and Power, using a Marine Current turbine, rather than a UEK hydrokinetic turbine initially proposed; and Nova Scotia Power Inc., using an OpenHydro Group Ltd. turbine.

Nova Scotia's 2009 Energy Strategy sets a target of at least 25 percent renewable electricity supply by 2020. In-stream tidal energy could help meet that target, Nova Scotia Energy Minister Barry Barnet said.

Minas Basin Pulp partners with Marine Current Turbines

Minas Basin Pulp and Power announced Jan. 22 it is partnering with Marine Current Turbines Ltd. (MCT), a tidal technology developer based in the United Kingdom, in Bristol, England. (HNN 11/26/08)

Minas Basin Pulp and Power said it intends to deploy a 1.5-MW tidal generator, in partnership with MCT, when the Bay of Fundy in-stream energy center enters full operation.

MCT installed a 1.2-MW SeaGen tidal energy system that entered full operation in December 2008 in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough. (HNN 7/24/08) Additionally, MCT and npower renewables of the United Kingdom are collaborating to advance a 10.5-MW project using seven SeaGen turbines off the coast of Anglesey, North Wales.

OpenHydro issues call for construction proposals

Nova Scotia Power said its technology partner, OpenHydro, seeks a contractor to construct a subsea base for the company's turbine on the ocean floor. OpenHydro, based in Dublin, Ireland, will review proposals, including those from manufacturers in Nova Scotia. The turbine is to be installed in fall 2009.

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