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Canadian government announces $9.4 million investments in tidal energy

Shoreline Waves

The government of Canada has announced a $9.4 million investment in four tidal energy projects that will bring clean energy technologies to the Atlantic region and help Canada build a cleaner future, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, accompanied by Lenore Zann, Member of Parliament for Cumberland–Colchester, made the announcement today. The announcement took place after a tour of the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy’s (FORCE) facilities in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.

Tidal energy has the potential to significantly reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve local air quality by displacing electricity generated from fossil fuels. “With the longest coastline in the world, Canada should be a global leader in tidal energy,” Minister Jordan said. “This renewable energy source has the potential to substantially grow our blue economy in the long term, but we need to invest now. There are brilliant teams across this country who are working toward this vision, and our government wants to be a partner in their efforts. So today, we’re proud to invest in four innovative projects that share a single goal: to build a thriving tidal power industry across Canada.”

The investments are:

$4 million to Nova Innovation to build a tidal turbine array using sub-sea tidal technology in Petit Passage in the Bay of Fundy.

$1.58 million to the University of Manitoba, in partnership with SOAR – Sustainable Oceans Applied Research, to advance research on river hydrokinetic and instream tidal energy technologies in the Canadian context.

$2 million to Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia to research an environmental effects monitoring solution for the instream tidal energy industry in Canada, including fish and marine mammal interactions with tidal devices.

$2 million to FORCE to outline a plan to assess the encounter risk for fish with tidal devices and create a tool to support the regulatory authorization process for tidal energy projects. The tidal energy risk assessment program involves participation from Acadia University, Marine Renewables Canada, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, Ocean Tracking Network at Dalhousie University and FORCE.

The first project was funded through NRCan’s Energy Innovation Program, which provides support to projects reducing emissions, including GHGs, through research, development and demonstration of clean energy technologies, with the aim of meeting 2050 clean growth targets.

The second project was funded through NRCan’s Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors. The $155 million investment fund helps natural resource sectors and innovators come together to accelerate the development of clean technologies that reduce the impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.

The Clean Growth Program also provided support to the University of Manitoba for the capacity to collaborate with CanmetENERGY Ottawa on the optimization of river turbine arrays through numerical analysis and the identification of potential hydrokinetic resources in northern Canada through the use of radar satellite image processing. This investment was made through the Program’s Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) initiative, which provides federal laboratory support for innovators, intended to help bring Canadian clean technologies to market by providing federal research expertise, facilities and equipment.

Funding for the remaining projects comes from NRCan’s Emerging Renewables Power Program, a $200 million program from Budget 2017 and part of Canada’s $180 billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

The government remains committed to building a clean energy future and to supporting our natural resource sectors through this tough economic time. “Investing in new kinds of energy production, like tidal energy, creates jobs in Nova Scotia and across Canada. Investing in tidal energy helps get us to zero emissions by 2050,” Minister O’Regan said.