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Canadian Fundy tidal project gets funding

The Government of Canada is contributing CA$20 million for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) tidal project in the Bay of Fundy.

FORCE has also signed a CA$11m contract for the production and installation of four subsea cables in the Minas Passage tidal power test site, with work shared between Nova Scotia and Italy.

Scheduled for installation in 2011, the cables could give FORCE the largest offshore transmission capacity of any in-stream tidal energy site in the world.

Each of the four subsea cables for the tidal power test site has the capacity for 16 MW, for a total of up to 64 MW. Each 34.5 kV cable is designed to allow adding more tidal devices in the future. With a combined length of 11 km, the total capacity of all four cables will be about 64 tidal power devices.

The province will create new marine renewable legislation before looking at larger developments and a consultation process has started.

"FORCE applauds the vision and commitment of both governments to an energy future where clean technology can play a bigger role," says FORCE Chairman John Woods.

"By 2011, any tidal device installed at FORCE will be able to deliver power directly to the grid. The size of the cable also gives us room for significant growth, if tidal technology proves to be both safe and viable in the Bay of Fundy."

IT International Telecom Inc. will complete work for nearly half of the cable contract, CA$5.3 million, out of its Marine Terminal in the Halifax Harbour, providing local jobs for up to 100 people.

The company will manage the project to completion, overseeing cable testing and transportation to site, through to final installation of all four cables from the shore to their subsea berths.

The tidal power cables and accessories will be manufactured by Prysmian at their submarine cable facility in Arco Felice, Italy.

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