Mission Accomplished: Tidal Energy Project Successfully Installs Underwater Power Cables in the Bay of Fundy

[Note: video b-roll of marine operations available at: https://vimeo.com/110195098.]

[Hi-Res photos available here: http://fundyforce.ca/media-center/images]

Friday, Oct. 31, 2014


The Bay of Fundy is now wired for power: four underwater power cables have been successfully installed in the Minas Passage, each able to deliver electricity directly to homes across the province.

The Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) has laid four cables along the sea floor of the Minas Passage, giving FORCE the largest transmission capacity for tidal power in the world.

The four cables, with a combined length of 11 kilometres, have a total capacity of 64 megawatts, equivalent to the power needs of 20,000 homes at peak tidal flows.

“We are incredibly proud of this accomplishment – it puts Nova Scotia at the front of the line globally for in-stream tidal energy capacity,” said Tony Wright, general manager of FORCE.

The operation lasted almost four weeks, from mobilization through sea trials and finally cable deployment. The final cable was deployed Oct. 28. Each 34.5 kilovolt cable, together with its reel, weighed over 100 tonnes.

“Our team has planned and prepared this operation for two years,” said FORCE Chair John Woods. “It’s extraordinarily gratifying to have the final piece of the puzzle in place.”

“Our Government is investing in clean technologies that build the economy while also protecting our environment,” said the Hon. Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This project will harness power from the world’s highest tides, providing clean energy and high-quality jobs for people in Nova Scotia. We are proud to have contributed to its success.”

“This is an exciting step that international tidal developers have been waiting for,” said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Andrew Younger. “There is a tremendous amount of expertise and precision required to lay a subsea cable in the challenging conditions of the Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia companies have been involved in this work every step of the way, and have gained the skills and knowledge to help them reach global markets. Our tidal resources, particularly in the Bay of Fundy, will make a significant contribution to the province, as a growing economic generator with export potential and as a new power source.”

Over 25 personnel were directly involved in planning, mobilizing, surveying, and installing the cables. The project used expertise from Nova Scotia, the Maritimes and abroad.

Antigonish-based R.J. MacIsaac Construction acted as lead contractor for marine and onshore activity.

The other companies involved in the cable installation include:

Seaforth Geosurveys (survey support), Dartmouth;

Strum Engineering (electrical engineering support), Dartmouth;

ETA (sub-sea cable specialists), Southampton, England;

Hughes Offshore and Shipping Services, Halifax;

Atlantic Marine Geological Consulting Ltd. (route and hazard assessment), Halifax;

Irving Equipment Ltd. (cable loading), Saint John, N.B.;

Northumberland Electric, Parrsboro;

Rafes Construction, Parrsboro.


FORCE is Canada’s leading centre for tidal energy technology research and demonstration, located in the Bay of Fundy. FORCE collaborates with industry, government, and researchers to study the interaction between tidal turbines and the Bay of Fundy environment, providing research, environmental monitoring, and the electrical infrastructure for commercial development. FORCE receives funding support from the Government of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, Encana Corporation, and participating developers.


More at www.fundyforce.ca


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Media Contact:
Hugh Fraser

902.406.1166 x2