FORCE Wins New Funding, Increases Research
(HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA) Canada’s efforts to become a world leader in tidal energy research and technology are taking a significant step forward. The Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides, will also soon be home to the world’s first underwater monitoring platform designed specifically for extreme, high-flow tide conditions.
FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy) today announced a new high-tech ocean-monitoring program to advance the science around the world’s most powerful tides, supported by $10 million from the Government of Canada, Encana Corporation, FORCE participants, and Ocean Networks Canada.
“When it comes to designing a successful tidal turbine for the Bay of Fundy, the more we know, the better,” said John Woods, FORCE Chair and VP for Energy Development for Minas Basin Pulp and Power. “This project will take our understanding to the next level.”
The program will be a world-first: designing, building, and deploying a subsea monitoring platform capable of performing in the extreme, high flow conditions of the FORCE test area. The platform will also be connected to the FORCE observation facility by submarine cable.
Speaking to an international gathering of representatives from industry, government, and research at the Ocean Renewable Energy Group conference in Halifax, Mr. Woods continued: “We are installing a turbine in one of the fastest flowing tidal races in the world, 40 meters below the surface of the ocean. We need to know everything we can about these conditions: current speeds, direction of flow, water content, and how everything changes. This information is essential to success.”
The subsea monitoring program will allow:
— continuous, synchronized data collection (including currents, turbulence, and other environmental data)
— more accurate visualization of marine life behavior and movement
— real time instrument adjustments
— the future development of a new standard of high-flow turbine monitoring world-wide
“This new funding will support the development of an instrumentation platform that will be cable-connected and enable research and development activities,” said Scott Armstrong, MP for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “This will allow us to better understand the challenges of the resource at hand and, in so doing design technology to harness power from the world’s highest tides.”
“We are extremely proud to partner with the Government of Canada, Ocean Networks Canada and FORCE turbine developers to help drive technological innovation and research in the Bay of Fundy,” says Bob Grant, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development, EH&S and Reserves, Encana Corporation.
“This program will demonstrate how world leading Canadian technologies and expertise in ocean observing systems can be applied to high flow environments,” said Ocean Networks Canada Director, Scott McLean. “As a collaborative, cross-country initiative, the program will build Canadian expertise in this important emerging global market sector.”
Today’s announcement is made possible by $5 million from the Government of Canada, $3 million from Encana Corporation (a previous loan converted to a grant), $1 million from FORCE turbine developers, and $1 million of in-kind support from project partner Ocean Networks Canada.
FORCE made a number of other announcements today, including:
— the appointment of two new independent board directors: Joe Fitzharris and Doreen Malone (see bios below),
— the completion of the electrical infrastructure (substation, transmission, cable ducts),
— the acquisition of new data around current velocities at FORCE
“We are pleased to welcome Ms. Malone and Mr. Fitzharris to the Board of Directors,” said Mr. Woods. “Their experience and expertise will be an invaluable asset to the FORCE team.”
FORCE is Canada’s leading centre for in-stream tidal technology research and development. Participants Minas Basin Pulp and Power (with Marine Current Turbines), Alstom (with Clean Current), and Atlantis (with Lockheed Martin and Irving Shipbuilding). Funding partners include the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, Encana Corporation, and participants. For more information, please visit fundyforce.ca, like us at facebook.com/fundyforce, or follow us at twitter.com/fundyforce.
NEW FORCE DIRECTORS: BIOS
Doreen Malone is a Chartered Accountant and a Financial Planner at Assante Capital Management Ltd. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s University and Executive Leadership training at Harvard University’s John Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining Assante, Doreen was the General Manager of Neptune Theatre; the Director of Finance & Operations at Confederation Centre of the Arts; and a Senior Manager in the national accounting firm, Grant Thornton. Doreen is currently a member of the board of Shelter Nova Scotia. She has also served on the boards and committees of Credit Union Atlantic, Feed Nova Scotia, Point Pleasant International Design completion, Nova Scotia Tourism Partnership Council, Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce and Tennis PEI.
Joe Fitzharris is VP and General Manager of the Marener Group of Companies, which provide fabrication, mechanical, repair and maintenance, and project management services to the oil and gas, marine, and industrial sectors, and he is current past chair of the Maritimes Energy Association. Prior to joining Marener in 2007, Joe held numerous management positions for Irving Shipbuilding, and worked on major offshore projects such as the Hibernia Utility Shaft fabrication, the Eirik Raude semi submersible completion, South Venture topsides, and the White Rose module fabrication. Joe also serves as a member of the Nova Scotia Community College program advisory committee for welding and steel fabrication programs, a sector chair and industry advisor to the Greater Halifax Partnership’s 5 year Economic Strategy, and as a steering committee member of the national “Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap.” Joe has also served as president, technical advisor and coach of the Cole Harbour Comets Minor Girls Softball Association, and currently chairs the Metro Minor Girls Softball Association.
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