Nova Scotia Premier’s Office, January 8, 2008
Nova Scotia is one step closer to building North America’s first in-stream tidal technology centre to host some of the world’s leading devices to harness energy from the world’s highest tides.
Three candidates, representing technologies from Canada, U.S.A. and Ireland, have cleared the first hurdle in their bid to demonstrate tidal devices in the Bay of Fundy and the province has given Minas Basin Pulp and Power conditional approval to build the host facility.
“These companies know what we know — the Bay of Fundy is one of the world’s best sites for tidal development,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “And today we are a step closer to proving it. This facility can become a landmark centre of excellence in our efforts to provide cleaner sources of energy.
“The more we move away from coal-based electricity, the more we protect our environment — a key priority for this government.”
The facility will be funded by a $4.7-million grant from the province’s Ecotrust for Clean Air and Climate Change program, a $3-million zero-interest loan from EnCana Corporation’s Environmental Innovation Fund, and significant contributions from each of the successful developers. The province will also make $300,000 available for environmental and permitting work.
“We are grateful for the shared desire today to help create a brand new industry,” said Energy Minister Richard Hurlburt. “And we are pleased to welcome some of the world’s most promising technology to our province. If we combine that technology with Nova Scotia’s offshore expertise, research capacity and enormous tidal resource, this can become a truly outstanding centre of excellence.”
Gerry Protti, president of EnCana Corporation’s offshore and international division added,”EnCana is pleased to support the development of a promising and untapped energy resource here in Nova Scotia. Unlocking the unconventional power of the tides requires innovative thinking and the kind of creative partnerships that will be generated at this centre.”
The three candidates in negotiations for first occupancy in the proposed facility are:
- Clean Current (using a Clean Current Mark III Turbine)
- Minas Basin Pulp and Power Co. Ltd. (UEK Hydrokinetic Turbine)
- Nova Scotia Power Inc. (OpenHydro Turbine)
Minas Basin Pulp and Power Company proposes to construct the facility infrastructure, which would connect all tidal devices from the Bay of Fundy to the Nova Scotia electric grid.
“As a Nova Scotia company, we’re extremely pleased to play a role in moving tidal technology forward,” said John Woods, vice-president of energy at Minas Basin Pulp and Power. “The fact that we’ll be working together with devices from both North America and Europe shows the potential global reach of this technology.”
Glen Darou, Clean Current’s president and CEO added, “Nova Scotia is demonstrating strong leadership in sponsoring this world-class demonstration site. The Clean Current team is delighted to be part of this history-making event. The Clean Current Mark III turbine that we will install here is simple, efficient and environmentally friendly.”
Ralph Tedesco, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power said
“Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro are proud to be helping harness this silent, invisible, predictable energy — renewable liquid gold from the Bay of Fundy.”
“Tidal energy has the potential to help Nova Scotia meet its 2020 deadline to cut greenhouse gas to 10% below 1990 levels,” said Mr. Hurlburt. “But please remember — a number of conditions must be met before anything goes in the water.”
These conditions include the completion of:
- A strategic environmental assessment (expected spring 2008 )
- Site-specific environmental assessment(s)
- Provincial and federal permits and approvals
- A contribution agreement between province and developer(s)
- A land lease agreement between province and developer(s)
Research identifies the Bay of Fundy as potentially the best site for tidal power generation in North America, with a world-class resource in close proximity to an existing grid and potential consumers.
Nova Scotia’s regulations demand nearly 20% of the province’s electricity supply come from renewable sources by 2013. In-stream tidal energy has the potential to help meet that target.
Tidal technology also holds potential future opportunities for Nova Scotia suppliers and manufacturers, many of whom already have experience in Nova Scotia’s offshore petroleum industry.
The Nova Scotia departments of Energy, Environment and Labour, and Natural Resources have worked together to develop the project, in support of one of the province’s five priorities — protecting the environment.