Ocean Networks Canada to Install Subsea Turbines in Bay Of Fundy

Canada’s efforts to demonstrate world leadership in tidal energy research and technology are taking a significant step forward, as Ocean Networks Canada’s Centre of Enterprise and Engagement (ONCCEE) partners with researchers and industry to design and install the world’s first cabled underwater monitoring platform specifically for extreme, high-flow tide conditions.

ONCCEE, based at the University of Victoria, is a Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research funded by the Canadian government in 2009 under the Networks of Centres of Excellence program. As Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Ocean Observing Systems, ONCCEE has a mandate to generate socio-economic benefits from Canada’s significant investments in the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) Observatory and its two networks, VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada, through a series of programs focused on ocean science, technology and education.

Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy is home to the world’s highest tides, and the site of FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy), Canada’s leading test centre for in-stream tidal energy. ONCCEE is developing an environmental monitoring system for FORCE—a requirement for their research using sea floor turbines.

“This program will demonstrate how world-leading Canadian technologies and expertise in ocean observing systems can be applied to support the validation of technologies to monitor in-stream tidal energy projects in high flow environments,” says ONCCEE director Scott McLean. “As a collaborative, cross-country initiative, the program will build Canadian expertise in this important emerging global market sector.”

Speaking at the Ocean Renewable Energy Group conference in Halifax , FORCE chair John Woods announced the monitoring program, supported by $10 million from the Government of Canada, Encana Corporation, FORCE participants, and Ocean Networks Canada’s Centre for Enterprise and Engagement.

“When it comes to designing a successful tidal turbine for the Bay of Fundy, the more we know, the better,” said John Woods, FORCE Chair and VP of Energy Development for Minas Basin Pulp and Power. “This project will take our understanding to the next level.”

The monitoring platform, based on the world-leading technology of the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada Observatory—made up of the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada cabled undersea networks—will be connected to the FORCE observation facility by submarine cable. Data from the site will be publicly available via the Internet.

FORCE is Canada’s leading centre for in-stream tidal technology research and development. Participants include Nova Scotia Power, with OpenHydro, ALSTOM, with Clean Current, Minas Basin Pulp and Power, with Marine Current Turbines, and Atlantis Resources, with Lockheed Martin and Irving Shipbuilding. Funding partners include the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, and Encana Corporation.

Press Release, September 14, 2012

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