Canada: FORCE Announces Opening of Visitor Centre and Subsea Cable Arrival

Nova Scotia continues to be a world leader in tidal energy with the completion of a new $1.3-million visitor centre and the arrival of the subsea power cables required to deliver electricity from the Bay of Fundy to Nova Scotia homes and businesses.

The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) officially opened the 3,000 square-foot visitor centre in Parrsboro on Nov. 7. The facility, which overlooks the tidal turbine demonstration project in the Minas Passage, offers visitors information, videos and interactive displays related to tidal energy and the Bay of Fundy.

FORCE has also received all 11 kilometres of subsea cables which, when connected, will give the centre the largest transmission capacity for tidal power in the world — a total capacity of 64 megawatts or roughly equivalent to the power needs of 20,000 homes at peak tidal flows.

From shipbuilding to marine sciences to tidal energy, Nova Scotia is becoming known the world over as a centre of marine excellence,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “The momentum around tidal energy continues to build with the arrival of the subsea cables that will connect the province to the immense tidal power potential in the Bay of Fundy. And now, with this beautiful new visitors centre, the public has a place to watch this industry grow.

“The province is pleased to support efforts to give the Bay of Fundy a competitive advantage, especially in these last days of voting for the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign.”

With the highest tides on the planet, the Bay of Fundy is Canada’s only finalist in the bid to name the next seven natural wonders of the world. Voting wraps up this week.

“The government is proud to have invested in the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy,” said Senator Fred Dickson, on behalf of the Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Our investment supports the creation of a remarkable piece of community infrastructure that will harness the natural assets of Nova Scotia’s Fundy Region, building international profile for our community.”

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency invested more than $850,000 in the visitor centre, which also includes a small theatre and space for research and meetings. The OEER Association also contributed funding and research expertise for the centre.

FORCE applauds the vision and commitment of both governments to an energy future where clean technology can play a role,” said FORCE chair John Woods. “These are early days for the tidal industry, but our partners have sent a clear signal that the Bay of Fundy is where to be.

FORCE also announced that IT International Telecom, based in Halifax, will conduct a dry run in the Bay of Fundy in the coming weeks to prepare for installation of the cables next year.

TThe results show no evidence of adverse environmental effects when the turbine was in position, and will serve as an important reference as more turbines are put in place.

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.

Source: FORCE, November 09, 2011

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