Partners advance cutting-edge tidal energy project in Nova Scotia

Two Nova Scotian businesses have secured contracts as part of the first round of procurement awards on the Cape Sharp Tidal project, which is a 4-MW development planned for Nova Scotia, Canada.

Aecon Group Inc. and Lengkeek Vessel Engineering have been selected by Cape Sharp Tidal after a competitive tender process. Cape Sharp Tidal is a joint venture between Emera Inc. and OpenHydro. Later this year, the project aims to deliver one of the world’s first tidal arrays, with the deployment and grid connection of two 16-meter turbines in the Bay of Fundy, each capable of generating 2 MW.

Aecon Group secured the contract for fabrication of turbine components. It will also develop a 1,150 tonne capacity barge for OpenHydro, which will be used to deploy turbines on the seabed for the Cape Sharp Tidal project, as well as other future tidal array developments. Lengkeek Vessel Engineering was awarded the contract for design of the barge.

James Ives, OpenHydro Chief Executive, said in a May 25 statement: “The manufacture of a dedicated deployment barge is a major capital investment for OpenHydro that will also support Cape Sharp Tidal as we progress towards larger commercial scale tidal farms. We are committed to the development of a tidal energy industry in Nova Scotia and these contract awards demonstrate the potential of our industry to generate economic growth.”

“Today’s announcement reinforces Cape Sharp Tidal’s commitment to the province of Nova Scotia and to building a global tidal energy industry in the Bay of Fundy,” said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera. “This project will provide more than just a new source of clean, reliable energy in Nova Scotia; it is contributing to the economic strength of the communities and the province.”

In April, the government of Nova Scotia introduced legislation that provides both clarity and strategic direction for the development of marine renewable energy in the province. Once in place this fall, the Act will ensure projects continue to develop in a way that respects the environment and considers the interests of local communities.

“Nova Scotia is well positioned to become a leader in the global tidal industry and today’s announcement highlights some of the significant expertise we’re building within the province,” said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Michel P. Samson. “I’m pleased that Cape Sharp Tidal has chosen to use two local companies as key suppliers, creating local jobs and positively impacting the Nova Scotia economy.”

The Bay of Fundy’s tidal resource is one of the most powerful in the world due to extreme tidal swings. Cape Sharp Tidal is seeking to use the initial demonstration array in 2015 as the first phase of a commercial scale project in the Bay of Fundy, which subject to regulatory approvals, will see the development grow to an output of 300 MW.

In April 2015, OpenHydro was awarded C$6.3 million for the Cape Sharp Tidal project by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a not-for-profit foundation that finances and supports the development of clean technologies. SDTC funding will support OpenHydro in further refining its technology into a product ready for industrial roll-out.

OpenHydro specializes in the design, manufacture and installation of marine turbines generating renewable energy from tidal streams. OpenHydro has achieved a number of industry firsts including being the first to deploy a tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the first to connect to and generate electricity from tidal streams onto the United Kingdom National Grid and the first to successfully demonstrate a method of safely and economically deploying and recovering turbines directly on the seabed. OpenHydro has a project portfolio spanning Canada, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands with utility partners including Emera, EDF, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group, SSE Renewables and Alderney Renewable Energy.

Emera Inc. is geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with C$10.19 billion in assets and 2014 revenues of C$2.97 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as well as gas transmission and utility energy services. Emera has investments throughout northeastern North America, and in four Caribbean countries.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.