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Tidal power turbine deployed on Canada’s east coast

The provincial power utility in Nova Scotia, Canada, and its Irish partner OpenHydro report a successful deployment of the first commercial scale in-stream tidal power turbine in the Bay of Fundy.

Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro say the 1 MW tidal power turbine reached the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy deployment site, in the Minas Passage. The unit is fully operational and is rotating with the tides, collecting data and generating energy.

"Today begins a very important period of testing that we believe will demonstrate that tidal energy can be part of Nova Scotia's renewable energy future," says Rob Bennett of Nova Scotia Power. "Working with OpenHydro, we are proud to be the first to deploy and test a commercial scale tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy and look forward to the learnings ahead."

The tidal power turbine's journey from Halifax to the deployment site, 3 km off the shore of Black Rock, took one week. Once on site, the 400-tonne device was lowered within 6 hours to its intended location on the ocean floor by the specially-built barge called the OpenHydro Installer. The barge and the deployment method were both designed and developed by OpenHydro.

"Today is an historic first for Nova Scotia," says James Ives of OpenHydro. "For the first time, thanks to Nova Scotia Power's foresight and OpenHydro's technology, a commercial size in-stream tidal turbine has been successfully deployed in what is undoubtedly one of the world's strongest tidal energy resources."

The tidal turbine is resting on the seabed, secured by a subsea gravity base that was designed by OpenHydro and made by Cherubini Metal Works of Dartmouth. NS Power's involvement with this tidal power test facility is supported by funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which is funded by the government of Canada.

Nova Scotia Power provides 95% of the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power to 482,000 customers in the province, of which 10% to 12% is from wind and the world’s second-largest tidal bore power generator.

OpenHydro is an Irish company that designs and manufactures marine turbines for generating electricity from tidal streams, and was the first company to deploy a tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre and the first to generate power from tidal streams for the UK grid. OpenHydro has a project portfolio spanning the United States, Canada, France and the Channel Islands with utility partners including EDF and Nova Scotia Power.

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Wave and tidal energy