Nova Scotia seeking another tidal energy partner9/13/2012
Nova Scotia is strengthening its commitment to be a world leader in tidal-power development with another invitation to test technology in the Bay of Fundy.
The province is seeking proposals for a fourth developer to join the tidal test program at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) in the Minas Channel. Energy Minister Charlie Parker made the announcement at the Ocean Renewable Energy Group's 2012 annual conference in Halifax today, Sept. 13.
"Our tidal energy test facility is a leading centre for research that is helping develop a technology that can withstand the most powerful tides in the world," said Mr. Parker. "Now another developer will have an opportunity to test its technology and contribute to our understanding of how these devices interact with the marine environment."
The request for proposals is open to developers interested in testing a single device, or array of devices, up to five megawatts. The successful proponent will join Alstom, Atlantis and Minas Basin Pulp and Power. Sub-sea cables will transmit power from the four test sites to the province's electricity grid.
"This is an opportunity for technology developers unlike any other in the world: the most powerful test site, the largest electrical facilities, and an enormous resource potential," said FORCE executive director Doug Keefe. "It's really the ultimate proving ground for tidal turbines. Developers will also be assisted by our research to understand the site at a level of detail never seen before."
FORCE is a not-for-profit partnership that allows industry, government, scientists and academics to study the performance and interaction of tidal energy turbines with the Bay of Fundy.
Tidal energy is an important part of the province's long-term plan to reduce reliance on costly imported coal, meet federal coal and greenhouse gas emission reduction regulations, and diversity its energy mix.
In May, the province released the Marine Renewable Energy Strategy, outlining its approach to commercial production of clean, safe renewable energy from tides and waves. The strategy will be part of the province's Cleaner Energy Framework to be released this fall.
The request for proposals can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/tenders. The deadline is March 31, 2013.
More information on the tidal project can be found at www.nsrenewables.ca or www.fundyforce.ca