Tidal energy company Nova Innovation has landed its largest project, a permit to develop a 1.5 MW tidal array in Petit Passage, in the Bay of Fundy area of Nova Scotia, which is set to deliver enough energy to power 600 homes.
Courtesy of Nova Innovation
As the world-wide race heats up to capture the potentially huge global tidal energy industry, Nova Innovation has expanded into North America and expects to start work on the project within months. It will embark on a phased approach starting with a single turbine in 2020. Three phases of 0.5 MW will follow, eventually seeing 15 new tidal stream turbines installed by 2023 on the seabed to generate clean electricity from the natural ebb and flow of the tide – enough to power 600 homes.
“In the face of the climate emergency, we are on a mission to transform the power of the oceans across the world into clean, predicable energy” said Simon Forrest, Chief Executive of Nova Innovation. “At five times the size of our array in Shetland, which is the first of its kind in the world, this project is a massive step forward for Nova Innovation and the sector – propelling Nova Scotia to a leading position in tidal energy. We are delighted to have won the contract. It is testimony to the quality of our team in Canada; the relationships we have built with communities, supply chain and government; and the hard work put in by all, that this project will now become a reality”.
Mr Forrest added that Canada, particularly Nova Scotia, is blessed with an abundant tidal resource and that it is inspiring to see the political drive, locally and nationally, to make Nova Scotia the global leader in the sector.
“The momentum building behind tidal energy is demonstrated by the astonishing response to Nova Innovation’s ongoing crowdfunding campaign, which has so far seen more than 1,000 people invest to join our mission” said Forrest.
The Nova Scotian government is putting its weight behind tidal power, pledging to pay Nova Innovation 50 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity from the 15 new turbines, recognizing the costs of developing a ground-breaking new energy technology. This long-term approach will enable Canada to become the global hub of the sector, establish a highly skilled supply chain, help regenerate coastal communities and capitalise on the high-quality jobs being created by the industry.
A similar story unfolded when wind power was in its infancy in the 1980s and 90s. The UK and US were early pioneers of wind turbine technology, but it was countries like Denmark who ultimately prospered to the tune of many billions of dollars through significant governmental backing at the crucial early commercial stage. Canada looks set to emulate Denmark in the tidal sector.
As well as helping to save the environment, the global push to decarbonise presents a huge economic opportunity for tidal energy.