Two tidal turbine developers will win the chance to demonstrate their technology in the Minas Passage in the Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides.
Nova Scotia’s recent tender for a berth at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), has attracted three qualified bidders, and two will be chosen to advance to commercial demonstration.
Alstom has informed the province it released its berth in the Bay of Fundy to focus efforts on developing its technology in Scotland where it is now demonstrating a one-megawatt, commercial-scale device.
“We are pleased we have attracted interest from three new cutting edge technologies to Nova Scotia,” said Energy Minister Andrew Younger. “Our province’s tidal energy market has advanced significantly in recent months, including a new provincial feed-in tariff, and a successful cable deployment.
Alstom has made an enormous contribution to our collective efforts, but we’re pleased to now be able to extend the opportunity to another player.”
Companies that applied in December include Black Rock Tidal, DP Marine Energy Ltd., and OpenHydro. The fourth berth was vacated by Nova Scotia Power after the successful deployment and retrieval of its OpenHydro device in 2009. The remaining two berths are held by Minas Energy and Atlantis Resources.
FORCE director of marine operations Tony Wright said he looks forward to adding new technologies and personnel to the FORCE roster.
“This is an evolving industry and we learn from each other,” said Mr. Wright. “We also hope to see Alstom again in the future. They have supplied significant expertise and resources to the construction of FORCE, and we are grateful for their contribution.”
Mr. Younger said he had the chance to personally speak with many people involved in the tidal industry around the world in recent months and interest in Nova Scotia’s industry is very high.
“I had made it clear government wants to move tidal energy, and the opportunities that come with ocean technology jobs, research and development, and renewable energy advancement, forward and place Nova Scotia as a leader in marine renewables,” said Mr. Younger. “In fact, we look forward to welcoming the world to Nova Scotia this November to see our progress when we host the first International Conference on Ocean Energy to be held in North America.”
The province expects to announce the successful applicants in March.