FORCE Test Site

FORCE’s test site is in the Minas Passage area of the Bay of Fundy near Black Rock, 10 kilometres west of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Minas Passage, only 5 km wide and bordered by basalt cliffs, is the entrance to Minas Basin, the region of the world’s highest tides.

At mid-tide, the current in Minas Passage is about 4 cubic kilometres per hour, the same as the estimated combined flow of all the rivers and streams on Earth combined.  With the incoming tide, approximately 14 billion tonnes of sea water flows through Minas Passage into Minas Basin, and central Nova Scotia tilts slightly under the immense load.

Features of the site include:

  • water depths up to 45 metres at low tide
  • a sediment-free bedrock sea floor
  • straight flowing currents
  • water speeds up to 5 metres per second on ebb and flood

Considered ideal for in-stream tidal devices, the site was selected after roughly 12 months and $1 million in research.
Nova Scotia Power tested a 1 megawatt OpenHydro turbine at this site between November 2009 and December 2010.

The land-based facility is open to the public from May to November.