Sustainable Marine’s floating tidal energy platform launched in Bay of Fundy

After completing construction of its 420kW PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform in Meteghan, Nova Scotia, Sustainable Marine launched it in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, which experiences the highest tides on earth.

The new platform will undergo commissioning and testing in Grand Passage and will then be moved to the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) site as part of the first phase of the Pempa’q In-stream Tidal Energy Project. The Pempa’q project takes its name from the Mi’kmaq First Nation word “Pempa’q” meaning “rise of the tide,” in honor of the Bay of Fundy’s Indigenous communities.

The total in-stream tidal energy project will deliver up to 9 MW of electricity to the Nova Scotia grid. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and power about 3,000 homes.

“This tidal technology is the result of a tremendous international effort combining world-class scientific and engineering expertise from our German, Scottish and Canadian teams, and is the culmination of a decade of research and development,” said Jason Hayman, chief executive officer of Sustainable Marine. “We are very fortunate to have such strong support from our major shareholders, SCHOTTEL and Scottish Enterprise, the Government of Canada, and a wide range of partners and collaborators. The PLAT-I 6.40 has been designed specifically for the Pempa’q Project – where we will deliver the world’s first floating tidal array — in Nova Scotia, which has the best natural resources in the world to produce clean renewable tidal energy.”

The Pempa’q Instream Tidal Energy project is being supported by the Government of Canada with $28.5 million in funding.

“We are harnessing the power of our tides to power our homes, our businesses and our communities,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This is how we build our clean energy future.”

The PLAT-I 6.40 builds on the lessons learned and experience gained from Sustainable Marine’s previous deployments in Scotland and Nova Scotia. It was designed specifically for the FORCE site and produces 50% more power than its predecessor, the PLAT-I 4.63, which has undergone rigorous testing since 2017, first in Scotland before relocation to Grand Passage, Nova Scotia, in 2018. During testing, the system successfully produced power and demonstrated it can operate in adverse weather conditions. It is also measuring crucial environmental effects and has not recorded any evidence of adverse impacts on fish or marine animals.

The tidal platform only requires 2 m of water for launching and towing and is moored with a turret configuration, allowing it to align with the tide or the river flow. It has been designed so its easy to install and is accessible for maintenance and servicing.

This new technology was originally developed in Scotland with support from Scottish Enterprise’s WATERS funding, before arriving in Nova Scotia.

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