New technology may mean more renewable energy from the tides of the Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia has partnered with New Brunswick and five United States’ jurisdictions to pay for a study of the feasibility of using tidal flow generators in the bay. The newest generation of tidal power turbines resembles wind turbines. Submerged in the water, the generators use fast-moving tidal currents to create electricity. The turbines stand alone, anchored on the seabed, and are not visible from shore. “The tidal currents in the Bay of Fundy seem to be ideal for generating electricity,” said Energy Minister Cecil Clarke, “but we need to have experimental data that will show whether it’s practical to use this emerging technology in our coastal environment.” The Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, Calif., will conduct the study. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will each contribute $60,000 US to the study. Maine, Massachusetts, Washington State, Alaska, and San Francisco are also taking part in the $425,000 study. The data from all the study locations will be shared among all the study sponsors. “Nova Scotia has significant in-stream tidal energy resources andthe technologies able to harness these resources are becoming available,” said Roger Bedard of the Electric Power Research Institute. “The big question is whether it makes sense for Nova Scotia and the other regions to invest in tidal in-stream energy conversion technology. We will answer that question for the province by March 2006 within the context of this study.” Nova Scotia Power’s president and CEO, Chris Huskilson, said his company is playing a key role in the new study. “Our customers told us they want more renewables and we’re listening to them. That’s why we’re bringing on wind power in this province and seeking ways to harness more power from the tides.” Nova Scotia Power already has one of three tidal power plants in the world at its Annapolis Power Tidal facility, and Annapolis Royal. The province wants to ensure that at least five per cent of Nova Scotia’s electricity supply comes from renewable resource generating capacity that was built after 2001.
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