Minister O’Regan gives keynote at 2020 Fall Forum

The Marine Renewables Canada 2020 Fall Forum was held on November 4-5, 2020 in Halifax and virtually. A smaller event than the annual conference, the Forum allowed the association to hold a safe event that was designed to encourage in-person participation with all current public health protocols implemented – and – will also provide the tools and ability for members and industry across the country and internationally to join virtually.

The Forum created an opportunity the industry hasn’t had for awhile – bringing  members, industry, partners, and colleagues together to re-connect, get updates on opportunities, and strategize on the path ahead.

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan joined the Forum in-person to provide a keynote address which included the announcement of $28.5 million to Sustainable Marine for the development of its tidal array project at FORCE.

The Forum also featured an address from the Honourable Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Energy and Mines for Nova Scotia and presentations and updates from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Natural Resources Canada, the Business Network for Offshore Wind, Ocean Energy Europe, multiple project and technology developers, Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA), Smart Grid Innovation Network, Clean Foundation, Nova Scotia Power, Sustainable Oceans Applied Research (SOAR), and several suppliers.


Thank you to all Fall Forum sponsors, speakers, session chairs, and attendees! It was a great day for the marine renewable energy sector in Canada. Marine Renewables Canada was so glad to bring everyone together in Halifax and virtually.

Mark your calendar: Marine Renewables Canada’s 2020 Lineup

Events & services to support Canada’s marine renewable energy sector

Every year, Marine Renewables Canada (MRC) hosts a number of events and trade missions to support its members’ business efforts and facilitate advancement of the marine renewable energy sector. With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, this year is obviously much different for all of us. We have been planning and pivoting our activities to ensure that we can deliver services and events that support the industry, while making health and safety a top priority.

Now that restrictions are being eased, we are excited to announce that we will be offering a mix of both virtual and in-person activities that will be launched over the remainder of 2020! All in-person events will adhere to the most current public health directives which means smaller gatherings, physical distancing, etc. – but we are thrilled to create an opportunity for our members, industry, and stakeholders to connect face-to-face in the near future!

MRC Connect App – COMING SOON!

With fewer opportunities to meet in person and conduct business development opportunities, MRC has created a new tool to allow members to connect virtually. This summer, MRC will be launching an app for members that will allow them to directly engage in informal networking and relationship-building with other members, identify local, national, and international business opportunities, and profile their capabilities. More details to come soon.

Nautical Networking Event | August 13, 2020 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Join us for our annual summer event on the Tall Ship Silva. This will be a wonderful evening featuring a cruise on Halifax Harbour, live music, and an opportunity to re-connect with colleagues!

Event size is limited to the maximum capacity the Silva can hold with required gathering limits and physical distancing requirements implemented. Registration will open on July 6th and will initially be available to MRC members only. Non-member ticket sales will open August 1st.

Contact Amanda White for more information on sponsorship opportunities: or 902-717-0716

 Marine Renewables Canada Golf Tournament | September 17, 2020 – Grandview Golf & Country Club, Westphal, Nova Scotia

We’ll be hosting our first ever golf tournament, creating an opportunity to make connections and build relationships with professionals across marine, offshore, and energy industries. Join us for a day out on the green followed by a BBQ dinner.

Event size will adhere to current gathering limits and physical distancing requirements. Registration will open on July 13, 2020. Contact Amanda White for more information on sponsorship opportunities: or 902-717-0716

Fall Forum & Info Sessions | October & November – Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia; other event locations TBD

We recognize that this is a challenging year to host large events. To address limitations and ensure that we are supporting our members and industry across the country MRC will be hosting a series of smaller events in lieu of an annual conference. These will include a Fall Forum in Halifax on November 5th, with both virtual and in-person attendance options. We are also planning on hosting a series of smaller events in different locations to provide information about opportunities in the marine renewable energy sector. More details to come soon.

 All of these activities are designed to be flexible to any changes in public health directives. With uncertainty and challenges created by the pandemic, MRC is committed to delivering services and events in the best interest of our members and the sector.

We will be providing updates on all of our activities frequently. Please visit our website for more information about each activity at

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Introducing MRC Connect – a new app for MRC members

Marine Renewables Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a new member benefit – the MRC CONNECT APP!

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it challenging to carry out typical business development activities such as conferences, workshops, networking events, and even in-person meetings. Marine Renewables Canada has developed a new tool to support members’ business development needs during these times of distancing. The MRC Connect app will allow members to continue making new connections, foster relationships and engage in networking opportunities.

MRC Connect is designed to be used on a daily basis as a tool for members to connect with each other directly and informally, receive updates and business intelligence, and provide additional support for events and trade missions. The app allows members to connect with each other, group or private chat, stay up to date on important announcement and opportunities and much more. MRC will be using MRC Connect to regularly communicate with members, share information, host virtual events, etc.

For more information, contact Amanda White at  Members can also access the users guide here.



Privacy Statement: The developer of the MRC Connect App is Socio Labs (“Socio”), and it is their Privacy Policy that applies to the use of the Services and Apps, whether you are a customer or an end user of the Services. This Privacy Policy applies to information collected through your use of the Apps and any other means by which they may collect information. The Socio Privacy Policy describes the types of information they may collect from you or that you may provide when you visit their Apps or use our Services in general, and our practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting and disclosing that information. Please review the full Socio Privacy Policy HERE

COVID-19 Business Support Resources for Members

Marine Renewables Canada is dedicated to supporting our members and the industry at all times and want to do whatever we can to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are monitoring policies and supports for businesses that are being established by government and will be compiling these for you. This information can be found on the Marine Renewables Canada Members’ Portal  here. Members have a password for this service – if you have forgotten it, please contact

We will also be emailing additional updated information on business resources periodically. NOTE: We will be updating these resources as regularly as possible, but policies and supports are evolving quickly and this resource might not always capture the most up to date information (we will do our best!).

Marine Renewables Canada staff have been working to connect with many of you to understand what challenges you’re facing and encourage you to call and/or email anytime if you’d like to discuss the impacts of COVID-19. Let us know where there are gaps in programming, supports that would work best for you, etc. Feel free to email Elisa Obermann at or call 902-817-4317 or Amanda White at or 902-717-0716 any time.  We will continue to communicate with governments on how our members and the industry are being impacted and advise on how your needs can be supported.

Marine Renewables Canada welcomes four new board directors, appoints executive committee

Marine Renewables Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors. The new directors bring industry experience and unique perspectives that will add to the national leadership of the association.

“Producing clean energy from tides, waves, rivers and offshore wind across the country and internationally poses significant opportunities for Canada,” said Marine Renewables Canada executive director Elisa Obermann. “We have a goal to help build and support this new industry and to do that we need leadership that is enthusiastic about tackling the challenges and pursuing the opportunities. That’s why I am pleased to announce the appointment of new directors to our board: Jason Clarkson, Peter Huttges, Kim MacNeil, and Dragan Tutic – their engagement will benefit the association and the sector.”

Jason Clarkson is President of Operational Excellence Consulting Inc. and is currently managing a project for Sustainable Marine Energy Canada (SMEC). In this role, he is focused on supporting SMEC’s Grand Passage tidal energy project as well as the development slated in the Minas Passage at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE). Jason has over 17 years of experience working in heavy industry primarily focusing on operational safety, regulatory compliance and risk management. He has been providing expertise and services to the tidal energy industry in Nova Scotia since 2014, working closely with industry including FORCE and Cape Sharp Tidal. Jason is also responsible for the “Lessons Learned – Minas Passage” report outlining the challenges and experiences that have been faced by tidal developers while operating in the conditions unique to the FORCE site.

Peter Huttges is Coastal Business Manager with Atlantic Towing Limited, responsible for all aspects of business development and customer and contract management, for the Coastal Division. In his role, Peter provides expertise and support for a range of industries including marine renewable energy, offshore oil and gas, aquaculture, marine construction, mining and Arctic resupply. Over the past several years, Peter has been closely engaged in marine renewable energy development in Canada, having managed Atlantic Towing’s marine operations for a number of tidal energy projects in the Bay of Fundy.

Kim MacNeil is president and owner of Aviso East Consulting Inc. and is currently Head of North American Development with Nova Innovation. Nova is a tidal energy company based in Scotland and working to install a turbine in Petit Passage, Digby County, Nova Scotia. He brings extensive knowledge and expertise in environmental regulation and policy, having worked in the environmental department of two large mining companies and in a variety of positions with the Province of Nova Scotia. More recently he served as Acting Deputy Minister of Environment and then as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries & Aquaculture.

Dragan Tutić is co-founder and CEO of Oneka Technologies, a company based in Quebec that developed a wave-powered desalination technology that directly converts the motion of waves into drinking water for coastal communities. As he has been developing this technology, he has established experience in addressing technical challenges, raising capital, and navigating logistics and permitting requirements.

Their directorship terms begin on January 1, 2020.

A new executive committee has also been established, with the Honourable Michel P. Samson, currently Counsel at Cox & Palmer, appointed as Chairman of the board and Peter Huttges of Atlantic Towing appointed to the role of Vice Chair and Treasurer.

Marine Renewables Canada would also like to thank the following outgoing directors of the board for their contributions and leadership: Tim Brownlow (Atlantic Towing Limited), Sheila Paterson (Centre for Ocean Venture Entrepreneurship (COVE)), Carys Burgess (Independent), and Jeremy Poste (Independent).

For full Board of Directors’ biographies, please visit


Marine Renewables Canada & WiRE Establish Partnership

Marine Renewables Canada is excited to announce a new partnership with Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE). WiRE’s mission is to advance the role and recognition of women working in the energy sector. Inclusive of all renewable energy and clean technologies, its programming includes capacity-building field trips, networking meet-ups, an awards recognition program, student bursaries, speed mentoring and more!

To learn more about WiRE visit:

British Columbia emerges from its “dark years”

December 7, 2018 ~ Chris Campbell

Yesterday, a local commentator referred to the post-2012 era of BC governance as the “dark
years”! Members of the Marine Renewables Canada family have experienced them as the
silent and frustrating years as we saw interest in diversification of clean energy supplies and
attendant economic opportunity lost in a dogma that no new electricity (other than Site C
hydro!) would ever be needed. Member companies gave up, a few gallant souls went back to
the 2004 status of a mutually-supporting coffeeclatch and we and the governments clung to
research, knowledge and tool development at the University of Victoria as a bookmark for
eventual action by the sector.

But, all this has changed! On December 5 2018, the consortium of NDP government supported
by Greens, a multifaceted Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council and a host of
industry players are launched in a climate action initiative that takes a leap forward from the
2008-2011 foundation laid by the Gordon Campbell Liberals.

The goal is greater and the plan more integrated and inclusive. It is the beginning of a strategy
designed to build a new economy while transitioning to the low-carbon economy needed for
decades to come.

Prior to 2012 Marine Renewables Canada (OREG) was involved in clean energy, electrification
and clean industry strategy development. We worked to demonstrate where new business and
economic opportunities would come from and with existing industry we explored the business
value of products and processes based on consumption of clean electricity. There was a
remarkable alliance of industrial processors, the clean electricity sector and BC Hydro.
That was shelved but has now reemerged.

A couple of years ago Merran Smith of Clean Energy Canada (and cochair of the advisory
Council) asked MRC to help bring together the clean electricity associations. CANCore emerged
with a clear message that Canada had a massive advantage in climate action due to existing and
undeveloped clean electricity resources.

We have seen that message resonate federally already, and now we see it as central to the BC
strategy – Clean Electrification – of everything – as fast as possible!

By 2030 the strategy is intended to deliver:
• Ca 700,000 electrical, hybrid or hydrogen new light-duty vehicles
• Ca 300,000 residential heat pumps
• 50m m2 of commercial space heated and cooled by heat pumps
• 60 large industrials replacing natural gas with heat pumps
• More than half of gas line compressors powered by electricity
• Electric-powered ferries, and
• Significant adoption of electric and hybrid heavy goods and industrial vehicles.

All of which suggests that:
“the policies in this strategy will require an additional 4,000 gigawatt-hours of
electricity over and above currently projected demand growth to electrify key
segments of our economy. This is equivalent to increasing BC Hydro’s current systemwide
capacity by about 8 per cent, or about the demand of the City of Vancouver. We
can meet this increased electricity use with existing and planned projects that harness
B.C.’s vast wealth of clean, renewable power.

Meeting our targets beyond 2030 will require substantial additional volumes of new
clean electricity to further electrify transportation, industry, and buildings.

BC Hydro will undertake a transformational review that addresses changing energy
markets, new utility models and emerging technologies to deliver on CleanBC’s longerterm
electrification goals. These include both generating and acquiring energy,
maximizing B.C.’s capacity advantage, supporting clean economic development, and
adapting to growth in distributed and district energy and new digital technology. This
work will be carried out over the course of 2019.

Incorporating these findings and the strategic direction set by CleanBC, BC Hydro will
prepare a new Integrated Resource Plan to incorporate new objectives and develop a
new path forward for electricity in B.C.”

The strategy once again brings forward the economic aspects of this development:
“we (can) use our position as a clean energy leader to grow our innovative technology
sector; where we export our expertise and products to make a difference in the lives
of hundreds of millions.

With clean electricity as the foundation for the prosperous and sustainable future for
this province, BC Hydro is taking steps to position us for enduring success in the
rapidly changing global energy sector.”

So, we need to restart our efforts with BC Hydro, addressing the longer-term opportunities
offered by river, tidal and wave energy. A 2019 project!

But we also need to engage at the indigenous and incorporated community level around what
might be more immediate opportunities:
“The CleanBC Communities Fund (CCF) will encourage investments in small-scale,
community-owned energy generation from sources such as biomass, biogas,
geothermal heat, hydro, solar, ocean or wind power to offset community energy use.

The fund will start accepting applications this year with $63 million of combined
federal and provincial funding available for the first wave of capital funding. Projects
will have to achieve at least one of the following outcomes:
• Increase the community’s capacity to manage renewable energy,
• Increase access to clean energy transportation,
• Increase the energy efficiency of buildings, or
• Increase generation of clean energy”

“By 2030, the Strategy targets the implementation of all four pillars in the remote
communities served by the 22 largest diesel-powered electricity generation stations in
B.C. (12 BC Hydro stations and 10 Indigenous Services Canada stations). The Strategy
aims to reduce province-wide diesel consumption for generating electricity in remote
communities by 80 per cent by 2030.

Additional support will be directed to the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative, with
matching funding from the federal government. The money will support project
planning, feasibility and design in on- grid and off-grid Indigenous communities who
are working to advance energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

These are intended to
• develop renewable heating systems, including heat pump technology and
district energy systems; and
• implement renewable energy projects to offset all or most remaining diesel
generation, including rooftop solar photovoltaic and community-scale
renewable systems. “

The full strategy is downloadable at:

2018 State of the Sector Report: Marine Renewable Energy in Canada

Marine renewable energy is largely an untapped resource, with the potential to provide new energy, economic, and environmental benefits for Canada. Harnessing the power of the tides, waves, offshore wind and rivers can provide a clean, sustainable electricity source, contribute to action on climate change, spur industrial growth by capitalizing on skills and assets already present in other sectors, and create a game-changing opportunity for remote communities – many of which continue to rely on imported diesel to generate electricity.

Marine Renewables Canada to focus on synergies with offshore wind

With a growing global effort to develop climate change solutions and increase renewable electricity production, along with Canada’s strengths in offshore and ocean sectors, Marine Renewables Canada has made a strategic decision to grow its focus by officially including offshore wind energy in its mandate.

Legislation Places Nova Scotia in Position of Global Leadership on Marine Renewable Energy

Today the Government of Nova Scotia proclaimed the Marine Renewable-energy Act, a major milestone for Canada’s marine renewable energy sector.

The Act provides a framework for the governance and development of marine renewable energy resources – including tidal, wave, and offshore wind energy. Key features of the Act include the designation of areas of priority for development, as well as a licensing and permitting regime.