As Canada continues to move towards a low-carbon economy, renewable energy sources such as tidal and wave energy will play an increasingly important role in powering our cities, transportation and industries. With the world’s longest marine coast and one of the largest fresh water supplies, Canada has a major opportunity to create new jobs and economic growth by capturing the power of our marine and fresh water resources in an environmentally sustainable way.
The Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) today announced funding of $1.25 million in support of five collaborative research projects to address knowledge gaps and challenges associated with tidal energy development in Canada. The funding includes $1 million from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) with the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and OERA each contributing $125,000. The projects were funded under the OERA research call ‘Technology Research and Innovation to Support the Canadian In-stream Tidal Energy Sector’. The call targeted projects that address fundamental knowledge gaps impacting the Canadian tidal energy sector under three broad areas: Environmental Effects Monitoring, Marine Operations, and Cost Reduction Technologies. All projects considered for funding required a marine testing and demonstration phase as part of their work plans. Lead proponents and project partners from across Canada were eligible to apply.
The five selected projects:
- Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. Project Lead Dr. Michael Stokesbury in collaboration with VEMCO Nova Scotia. The proponent will test innovative acoustic fish tracking technology to study fish distributions and movements in the Minas Passage. The data will provide information critical to calculating potential turbine interaction and effects on different fish species at the individual and population level.
- The Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), Halifax, NS. Project Lead Dr. Kira Krumhansl in collaboration with Acadia University, Kongsberg Marine, University of Maine, and ASL Environmental. The proponent will integrate overlapping hydro-acoustic technologies to predict fish interactions with in-stream tidal turbines, leading to a more advanced environmental monitoring technique for sector wide use.
- Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA), Halifax, NS. Project Lead Mr. Dean Steinke, in collaboration with FORCE, Dalhousie University, Acadia University, Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd. and Tocardo Tidal Turbines. The project team will conduct full scale testing to investigate corrosion, wear, fatigue, and vibration of moorings and cables, leading to improvements in marine operations in turbulent tidal flows.
- Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), Dartmouth, NS. Project Lead Dr. Etienne Mfoumou in collaboration with DSA, Dominion Diving and AML Oceanographic. The researchers will conduct a series of field trials with the objective of augmenting ROV operational capacity and efficiency to enhance marine operations in high flow tidal environments.
- Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. Project Lead Dr. Richard Karsten in collaboration with University of New Brunswick, Dalhousie University and Luna Ocean Consulting. The project team will use an innovative suite of mobile measurement devices and modeling techniques to complete a comprehensive characterization of turbulence in the Minas Passage. The results will have important implications on turbine performance and durability optimization.
“The tidal energy sector has enormous potential to contribute to the growth of the low-carbon economy in Canada. The Government of Canada is working with sector stakeholders and investing in not only tidal technology development, but research to address issues fundamental to the long-term viability of the industry, including environmental impacts and operations in harsh marine environments.” Kim Rudd Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
“The Government of Canada recognizes Nova Scotia’s position as a tidal energy development leader. The potential this industry holds for our economy, as well as Canada’s climate change objective is critically important. To remain a leader, we will support the ideas that come from our brightest minds. Tidal innovation will lower the cost of delivering clean, renewable energy, while ensuring the environment is protected.” Geoff MacLellan Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy
“Our investment in innovative research and development creates new opportunities for Nova Scotia’s growing ocean technology sector. We are already home to some of the best marine researchers in the world. These collaborative research projects will contribute significantly to the development of a commercial tidal industry here in Nova Scotia — one that will see export opportunities around the globe.” Stephen Dempsey Executive Director, OERA