Cape Sharp Tidal, a partnership between Emera and OpenHydro/DCNS, has connected its two-megawatt tidal turbine to Nova Scotia’s power grid.
Cape Sharp Tidal deployed the OpenHydro turbine two weeks ago at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) test site near Parrsboro.
The first, out of two turbines planned to be installed by Cape Sharp at FORCE, uses a fraction of the estimated 7,000 megawatt potential of the Minas Passage to power the equivalent of about 500 Nova Scotia homes.
The second turbine is planned for deployment in 2017. The completed four-megawatt demonstration project will displace the need to burn about 2,000 tonnes of coal, and eliminate 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road each year, the company explained.
“This is a proud, and historic moment in Nova Scotia’s global leadership in the responsible development of a new and renewable energy source,” said minister of energy Michel Samson. “As we make the first in-stream tidal energy connection to the Canadian grid, we are ushering in a new era in marine renewable energy and taking an unprecedented step toward a lower carbon future.”
“This is a small but historic step in Nova Scotia’s transformation from using imported coal to becoming a leader in clean, local energy,” said Tony Wright, general manager of FORCE. “This achievement is the result of many people working to make all aspects of this project fit together – from environmental approvals to subsea cables to grid connection. How far can in-stream tidal grow? Now the most important research begins.”
FORCE has invested $30 million in onshore and offshore electrical infrastructure to allow demonstration turbines to connect to the power grid.
Nova Scotia’s tidal energy industry has the potential to create up to 22,000 jobs and contribute as much $1.7 billion to the economy.
“This is a huge achievement for Cape Sharp Tidal, a company combining DCNS, OpenHydro and our partners Emera,” said Thierry Kalanquin, chairman of OpenHydro and senior vice-president, Energy and Marine Infrastructure at DCNS. “In two hours within one tidal cycle, we deployed an open-centre turbine in the Bay of Fundy and soon after, secured the export of power to the Nova Scotian grid.”
“Emera’s investment in Cape Sharp Tidal is an investment in Nova Scotia’s renewable energy future,” said Nancy Tower, chief corporate development officer of Emera Inc. “We’re already seeing growth and momentum in this new Nova Scotia tidal industry. It’s a promising economic driver and an important local source of clean energy with benefits for the whole province.”