After years of preparation electricity generating turbines will soon be sunk into the powerful currents of the Bay of Fundy and linked to the power grid. To start, two five story tall, 300 ton turbines will be placed on the ocean floor in the Minas Basin off Parrsboro,N.S.
The turbines will be the first installed at Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy(FORCE). There are four berths ready to house the turbines, all prepared with cabling to the power grid. After the initial two turbines are set up, three other groups are planning on testing other prototypes in the coming years. Getting the first two up and running will be a Canadian milestone. Tidal power has been talked up for decades , but not much has come of it. The few in existence are of a “barrage system”. Tidal water flows into a reservoir then released to drive traditional hydro turbines on the way back to the ocean.
The new idea is to place turbines directly in the tidal current, thus being able to generate electricity without big dams and huge environmental impact. Having this installation placed into one of the world’s strongest tidal current will give Canada a leading role in the development of this technology.
The initial two turbines will generate 4 megawatts of power ..enough to electrify 1,000 homes. By 2019 the hope is to have several more turbines up and running , generating some 50 mw. A key job will be to act as a watchdog to monitor the environmental impacts to the fish, mammals, and the tide itself. The local economic growth will be good with some 22,000 jobs be added…and a real look at being important to developing the market around the world.
Tidal power is completely reliable and renewable…the tide comes in and the tide goes out. The tidal power industry has developed slowly, so Canada has the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a whole new power revolution.
Force: The Story of In Stream Tidal Energy Technology.