First floating tidal power delivered in N.S. | SaltWire

Published May 12, 2022 • Source

Ocean energy firm Sustainable Marine says it has harnessed the tidal currents in the Bay of Fundy, delivering the first floating in-stream tidal power to Nova Scotia’s grid.

Sustainable Marine CEO Jason Hayman said it marks a milestone for the company and Canada’s broader marine energy ambitions, demonstrating that the Bay of Fundy’s tidal energy resource can be effectively harnessed to provide up to 2500MW of clean, predictable energy.

“Achieving ‘first power’ to the grid from our new platform in Grand Passage (Digby County) signals a real inflection point for our business,” said Hayman in a news release issued Wednesday.

“It crystalizes the journey we’ve been on, following almost a decade of rigorous research, development and testing. The project has enabled Sustainable Marine to gradually acquire skills and resources to deliver turnkey projects, including a multipurpose construction vessel called the Tidal Pioneer, and a suite of next-generation, remotely operated subsea installation machines supporting our novel Swift Anchors technology.”

Nova Scotia has allocated about 30MW of capacity via demonstration permits and berths at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy for developers to demonstrate the effectiveness, cost and environmental effects associated with this form of energy generation. These projects provide developers with a pathway to reduce costs en route to commercial projects, with a regulatory framework in place to deliver up to 300MW of installed capacity. It further aligns with the region’s net-zero commitments to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030.

“It can be challenging to deliver these first-of-a-kind projects in highly energetic environments, but we have taken a staged and step-by-step approach to manage the technical risks and prove the ultra-low environmental impact of our technology” said Hayman.

“We are continuing to actively monitor for any interactions with marine animals and will build up power production in stages, under the current constraints to operate during daylight hours.

"Sustainable Marine Energy achieved a first in Canadian tidal energy history, delivering power from a floating platform in Grand Passage to Nova Scotia’s electricity grid,” Premier Tim Houston said in the release.

“This project and others are positioning Nova Scotia as a global player in the tidal energy sector and are creating green technologies, green jobs, a cleaner environment and a predictable, renewable source of electricity for Nova Scotians.”

Edinburgh, Scotland-headquartered Sustainable Marine is preparing to deliver the world’s first floating tidal array at FORCE, and is using its demonstration site at Grand Passage to prove its technology and environmental monitoring systems before commencing deployments in the Minas Passage.

The company has a portfolio of 15 patented technologies. Aside from tidal energy, its offerings aim to empower the “blue economy” at large, providing modular platforms, mooring and anchoring solutions to address challenges in the deployment of marine renewable energy and floating wind.