The next time you fly your Lear Jet from Saratoga up to Nova Scotia, you may not see a total eclipse of the sun but you might get to see the world’s largest tidal power installation. The Bay of Fundy features some of the highest tides in the world.
As the diurnal ocean cycles pack trillions of gallons of water into a smaller and smaller space, the tides at places like Wolfville, Windsor, and Truro in the Minas Basin can be as high as 60 feet. If there were a way to harness all the energy that flows into and out of Fundy every twelve hours, there would be enough to meet the needs of the entire world for years to come.
DP Energy, which is based in Europe, has just received a grant worth $23 million to develop tidal power in the Bay of Fundy through its Canadian subsidiary, Halagonia Tidal Energy. It has developed 393 MW of wind energy systems around the world and has another 1,476 MW of projects in the planning or late development stage in Australia, Ireland and the UK. It also has a number of large solar PV projects across Canada, according to a report by Renewable Energy World.
DP Energy will assemble five Andritz Hydro Mk1 1.5-MW seabed mounted tidal turbines and one SR2-2000 floating turbine supplied by Scotrenewables Tidal Power at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy. With a total output of 9 MW, it will be the largest tidal stream array anywhere in the world, the company says. Total cost of the system is estimated at $117 million.
Both suppliers have established themselves as credible sources of tidal power in the waters off of Scotland over the past several years. Three Andritz Mk1 turbines at the MeyGen Project have produced more than 8.2 GWh of electricity since they were installed. The Scotrenewables SR1-2000 prototype in Orkney has produced more than 3 GWh since October 2017.
The grant is from Natural Resources Canada as part of its Emerging Renewable Power Program, which is intended to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions through new technologies. It also strives to build supply chains that support emerging renewable energy sectors such as in-stream tidal power.
If you are ever in Nova Scotia, be sure to spend a few days at Five Islands on Digby Neck where the tide rises and falls 35 feet. You can tromp around on the mud flats at low tide as the mists eddy about the rocks and islets that will be underwater just a few hours later. If you haven’t camped in Nova Scotia, you have missed one of life’s great outdoor adventures.
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