Tidal currents are a massive source of sustainable, renewable energy. Unlike wind and solar, the rise and fall of the ocean tide is reliable and predictable, and therefore electricity generated from tidal power can be more efficiently distributed and consumed. Locations fortunate enough to have a tidal resource have a unique opportunity to diversify and strengthen their energy portfolio if they can effectively harness the energy of the tidal currents. Digby County is one of those locations, ideally located on the Bay of Fundy.
The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world (up to 16m) and holds the greatest potential for a tidal energy development in North America. Every day, 160 billion tonnes of seawater flows in and out of the bay, estimated by the Cape Sharp Tidal to contain 2,500 megawatts of extractable clean energy. While the potential is colossal, the technology needed to capture it is still relatively new. And because each tidal site around the world is unique, specialized research needs to be carried out for each new project.
Three potential sites have been identified in the Bay of Fundy at Grand Passage, Petit Passage, and Digby Gut, and Digby has been identified as the port of choice for tidal power development.
SME - Sustainable Marine Energy has installed a 280 kW tidal turbine in Grand Passage to demonstrate how the devices work and to learn how to improve their efficiency. Nova Innovations were successful in obtaining a demonstration permit from the Department of Energy and Mines as well for an IMW device. They Should be in the waters in the near future to complete similar work.
The MODD is working with a myriad of partners to conduct research to examine various scenarios regarding energy storage as a way to maximize the benefits that come from tidal energy.