Nova Scotia tidal power projects

Monday, December 2, 2013

Plans to develop tidal power resources in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia are moving forward, as Fundy Tidal Inc. announces firmer plans to deploy tide-powered generators at three locations in Digby County.

The extreme tidal range in the upper Bay of Fundy gives Nova Scotia a tremendous tidal energy resource.  The province has been home to the 20 megawatt barrage-based Annapolis Royal Tidal Power Plant for almost 30 years; more recently, Nova Scotia established a Marine Renewable Energy Strategy setting a target of 300 MW of commercial tidal development by 2020, an amount roughly equal to 10% of the province's electricity consumption.  Nova Scotia also established a Community-Based Feed-in-Tariff or COMFIT program designed to give qualified tidal energy developers certainty over project revenues early in the development phase.

Fundy Tidal Inc. proposed three projects in Digby County that have received approval through the feed-in tariff program.  The largest, to be developed in the Digby Gut, could generate up to 1.95 megawatts of power.  Two smaller projects in Grand Passage and Petit Passage could each generate up to 500 kilowatts of power.  These three projects have an expected development cost of $30 million.  Fundy Tidal also received approval for COMFIT funding for two projects on Cape Breton Island.

Last month, Fundy Tidal announced a strategic partnership with Tribute Resources Inc. and Tocardo International BV to develop the three Digby County sites.  Under the terms of that partnership, Tocardo will delivery tidal turbines, and will set up a tidal turbine assembly and manufacturing plant in Nova Scotia.  Fundy Tidal will serve as the overall developer and will retain a 51 percent interest in the projects, with Tribute Resources owning the remaining 49 percent interest.

This is not the first time tidal power projects have been proposed in Digby County; previous concepts have ranged from tidal barrage development to deployment of hydrokinetic turbines in conjunction with Ocean Renewable Power Co.  Fundy Tidal now plans to construct and deploy the Digby area projects to deliver power as soon as 2015.  Will these plans come to fruition?

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