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Cape Sharp Tidal now powers Nova Scotia homes and businesses

Posted on: November 22, 2016

 

Tidal energy is here

And it’s powering Nova Scotia homes.

Two weeks ago, we deployed our first 2MW turbine at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) test site near Parrsboro—and it is now producing clean, predictable in-tidal energy, a first in Canada.

(L-R) Tony Wright (FORCE), Nancy Tower (Emera), Michel Samson (NS Energy Minister), Thierry Kalanquin (OpenHydro/DCNS)
(L-R) Tony Wright (FORCE), Nancy Tower (Emera), Michel Samson (NS Energy Minister), Thierry Kalanquin (OpenHydro/DCNS)

 

This is a new chapter in our energy story, and there are exciting opportunities that come along with that. We’re using just a fraction of the estimated 7,000 MW potential of the Minas Passage, to power the equivalent of about 500 Nova Scotia homes with energy from our tides. Energy produced at FORCE will be consumed in Nova Scotia. This is clean power, from a local source that is unique to our region.

We’re proud of other milestones we’ve made along the way too: investing in Nova Scotia’s supply chain, creating jobs, and making commitments to safeguard the Bay of Fundy’s important ecosystem.

Demonstrating the monitoring equipment
Demonstrating the monitoring equipment

We’re working with leading scientists, universities and companies to balance energy creation with those protecting our oceans and marine life. We will collect vital data from a combination of passive (icListen hydrophones) and active (Tritech Gemini) sonars mounted on the turbine. This work will complement the existing 100+ baselines studies and contribute to a growing international body of research, and already our sensors are gathering that key data that will inform the path forward. We know from other sites in the world that tidal energy is safe and sustainable. But we still need to demonstrate that here—Nova Scotians deserve to see that for themselves.

Our second turbine, planned for deployment in 2017, will make Cape Sharp Tidal one of the largest generating arrays in the world. And the completed 4MW demonstration project will displace the need to burn about 2,000 tonnes of coal, and eliminate 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) C02 emissions—the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road each year.

Would we like to have more turbines in the Bay one day? Yes—but that won’t happen at the expense of things that matter to coastal communities or to the livelihoods that depend on it.

The investment in tidal is an investment in Nova Scotia’s renewable energy future. We’re already seeing growth and momentum in this new Nova Scotia tidal industry. It’s a promising economic driver and an important local source of clean energy with benefits for the whole Province.

 

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