PARRSBORO, NS (Nov. 23, 2016). Cape Sharp Tidal, a company formed by OpenHydro and Nova Scotia Power’s parent company, Emera, deployed the first successful tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy Tuesday. Energy Minister Michel Samson said, “We are ushering in a new era and taking an unprecedented step towards a lower carbon future.”
The tidal turbine weighs 1,000 tonnes and is five stories high. It was lowered onto the floor of the Minas Passage earlier this month and connected to the grid by a sub sea cable.
The turbine generates two megawatts of power, equivalent to the electricity required to power five hundred homes. The prototype turbine is designed to demonstrate the viability of generating electricity from the Bay of Fundy tides. Bay of Fundy tides destroyed the blades of a previous prototype in 2009.
OpenHydro believe that the prototype will be commercially viable in about five years.
Cape Sharp Tidal plans to deploy a second turbine.
Thierry Kalanquin of OpenHydro said Tuesday that there is zero environmental impact by the turbine.
Some local fishers are trying to reverse the provincial permit that allows the turbine in court, saying that it threatens the lobster industry. The province and Cape Sharp Tidal say that this claim has no merit.
The turbine has already survived the biggest tide in seventeen years.
Four other consortiums have been approved to deploy turbines in the Minas Passage. Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy, a non-profit company mandated by the government to review development of the technology and monitor its impact on the environment. is managing the site.