Federal Government provides R&D funding for small-scale tidal energy development in Nova Scotia

For Immediate Release:

Westport, Nova Scotia-May 03, 2013 – Fundy Tidal Inc. (Fundy Tidal), Acadia University, and Dalhousie University’s Department of Oceanography will continue R&D activities to identify the best locations for small-scale tidal power projects in Digby County bolstered by a three-year, $3.3 million research project.

Funding of $1.6 million will come from Natural Resources Canada through its 2012 ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative competition. Further cash and in-kind contributions will come from project partners Acadia, Dalhousie University and the University of New Brunswick along with industry partners Dynamic Systems Analysis, Fundy Tidal, and Clean Current Power Systems Inc.

“Through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, our Government is investing in innovative clean energy technologies that create jobs, generate new economic opportunities and protect the environment,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This program demonstrates our tangible support for energy projects that drive energy innovation.”

The Project “Reducing the cost of in-stream tidal energy generation through comprehensive hydrodynamic site assessment” will result in a comprehensive and innovative site assessment with a goal of determining the configuration and design of an optimal turbine array that also minimizes the cost of the electricity produced. In addition to identifying sites with the greatest energy potential, comprehensive site assessment includes determining technologies and locations that minimize interference with other water users, as well as considering the engineering, construction, and operational costs associated with different berth sites and tidal turbine technologies.

Led by Dr. Richard Karsten of Acadia’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics this Project will focus on assessing the three small-scale tidal community feed-in tariff (COMFIT) sites awarded to Fundy Tidal at Digby Gut, Grand Passage and Petit Passage. These sites offer a range of tidal flow regimes, from energetic to very energetic, that provide an excellent test bed for tidal energy development, and are particularly suitable for the deployment and testing of individual tidal turbines, small commercial arrays, and environmental monitoring systems.

“Detailed site characterization is needed to reduce both the cost and risk of tidal energy development, while obtaining information necessary to set sustainable development limits. The lessons learned and systems developed in Digby County will be applicable for designing and implementing energy solutions for marine communities worldwide.” according to Greg Trowse, Chief Technology Officer at Fundy Tidal.

Initial work will focus on determining the best locations for tidal turbine berth sites. The project team will conduct detailed characterization of tidal flows and the seabed using innovative oceanographic monitoring tools adapted for high-flow environments and numerical models that predict long-term flow conditions and the effects of energy extraction on the natural environment. Engineering analysis will be conducted to predict electrical generation and evaluate forces on turbine blades, submarine cables, and structures. Following turbine installation the project team will monitor turbine performance, flow conditions, and sediment mobility to evaluate the effects of energy extraction and provide information for model improvement and validation.

“This is an important step forward in achieving several milestones for Fundy Tidal and its partners and for all community stakeholders. Good science is key to the process as it enables us to make informed decisions on the development of small-scale tidal projects for Nova Scotians. We are delighted to partner with some of the best talent in the world.” says Vince Stuart, President of Fundy Tidal.

For more information on project participants please visit Acadia University (tidalenergy.acadiau.ca),), Fundy Tidal Inc. (www.fundytidal.com), Dynamic Systems Analysis (http://dsa-ltd.ca/), Clean Current (www.cleancurrent.com), Dalhousie University (http://oceanography.dal.ca/) and the University of New Brunswick (www.unb.ca/fredericton/engineering/depts/mechanical/)

Dana Morin
E-mail: info@fundytidal.com
Phone: 1-902-790-3565