Cape Sharp advances near-term deployment of 4-MW pilot project in Nova Scotia

Atlantic Towing Ltd. out of Nova Scotia has secured a contract to provide marine tug and barge services to the Cape Sharp Tidal project, which is a multi-phase project with plans to grid-connect within the next few months a 4-MW demonstration tidal array in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, known for its extreme tidal range.

The project could be the first of its kind in the world, helping establish a tidal industry in the Province of Nova Scotia, the project backers said in an Oct. 21 announcement. The project and its partners have committed to investing 70% of the first phase investment spend locally to develop economic tidal capacity. Cape Sharp Tidal is working toward deploying 300 MW of renewable power to Nova Scotians in the next decade.

The Atlantic Towing contract is the latest of several contract awards by Cape Sharp Tidal. The agreement details specialized marine services including harbour and terminal towage, ocean and coastal towage, barging services, offshore support such as anchor installation and more. These services, as scheduled, will employ up to 28 seafarers currently working for Atlantic Towing.

“Local economic opportunities like the Atlantic Towing contract reflect our vision to build a local tidal industry, strengthen our communities and keep jobs in our province,” said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera Inc. “Teaming up with local companies that have the expertise to safely get the job done is key to our success.”

In addition to anchor and cable installation, tugs will transport both 1,000-tonne turbines on their journey from Pictou to the Minas Passage on a purpose-built barge. Once in position, the tugs will manoeuvre the barge and turbine while crews lower the turbine to the seabed and connect the cables to the Nova Scotia power grid. The subsea cables, on-shore transmission lines and power infrastructure belong to the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE).

“We’re pleased to be working with the skilled crew of Atlantic Towing on the marine operations for Cape Sharp Tidal,” said James Ives, OpenHydro’s Chief Executive. “The company shares our commitment to safety and offers real-life experience in the Bay of Fundy that will help us achieve this ground-breaking project.”

“We have safely operated in challenging sea conditions like the strong Bay of Fundy currents and tides for more than 50 years,” said Gilles Gagnon, Atlantic Towing Vice President and General Manager.

In May, a contract was awarded to Aecon Group Inc. and Lengkeek Vessel Engineering. Aecon employees are currently building and assembling the turbine components and barge in its facilities, while Lengkeek earned the contract for barge design. And in July, it was announced that Hawboldt Industries was awarded a contract to design and manufacture three heavy lift winches for the barge.

Cape Sharp Tidal is a joint venture between Emera and OpenHydro. This initial phase of the project has the potential to be one of the world’s first multi-megawatt arrays of interconnected tidal turbines, providing energy to over 1,000 customers in Nova Scotia.

Atlantic Towing is part of the J.D. Irving Ltd. group of companies and operates the largest working fleet of offshore supply vessels in Canada. 

OpenHydro specializes in the design, manufacture and installation of marine turbines that tap tidal streams. It 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 UK 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 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. It is the parent of Nova Scotia Power. 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. Emera common and preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbols EMA, EMA.PR.A, EMA.PR.C, EMA.PR.E, and EMA.PR.F.

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.