Bay of Fundy tidal turbine deployment 2 years away2/27/2013
A European company planning to place a tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy says it will be another two years before the earliest deployment.
Alstom, a France-based conglomerate that is Europe's second largest power equipment maker, recently purchased ocean turbine maker Tidal Generation Ltd. from Rolls-Royce Plc. and planned to place a turbine in the Bay of Fundy.
Michelle Stein, a spokeswoman for Alstom Canada, said the company is waiting to study the results from a turbine at a demonstration site off the Orkney Islands.
That turbine will stay in the water for the next 18 months.
"Obviously we are going to take a look at those results," Stein told CBC News.
"Deploying in the Bay of Fundy, there's certain windows during the year where you can deploy. I would say it's safe to assume that it won't be before the end of 2014, 2015."
Stein said there could be an even longer delay if the turbine design needs to be changed to withstand a Canadian winter.
Tidal power from the Bay of Fundy remains elusive, despite a demonstration site set up near Parrsboro a few years ago.
A London-based ocean-turbine maker called Atlantis Resources Corp. and Minas Basin Pulp and Power are still continuing their attempts to create a workable turbine design for a harsh environment. Both companies have already said they will not have sea-worthy designs before 2015.
Nova Scotia Power, which also had a turbine test spot on the Bay of Fundy, abandoned its research and development into tidal energy after powerful currents chewed up a $10-million turbine less than a month after it was deployed in November 2009.
All 12 turbine rotor blades were destroyed by tidal flows that were two and a half times stronger than what the turbine was designed to withstand.
Last year, Nova Scotia Power turned over responsibility of its tidal energy file to its parent company, Emera Inc.
The estimated energy potential of the Fundy region alone is upwards of 60,000 megawatts of energy, of which up to 2,500 megawatts may be safely extracted.
Tidal energy experiments are part of Nova Scotia's strategy to generate 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.
In the spring, Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board is set to determine a price for tidal power from the Bay of Fundy.