A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[LINK] “Massive tidal turbine in Bay of Fundy generating electricity for the first time”

MacLean’s shares a Canadian Press article describing the successful, if expensive, working of the first installed tidal electricity generating plant in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy.

A massive underwater turbine started generating electricity from the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy on Tuesday, a test project the Nova Scotia government says marks a turning point for Canada’s renewable energy sector.

North America’s first in-stream tidal turbine was officially linked to the province’s electricity grid around noon, said Cape Sharp Tidal, the consortium behind the ambitious project.

The turbine is producing enough energy to power 500 Nova Scotia homes.

[. . .]

The partnership behind the project includes Halifax-based Emera Inc. and OpenHydro, a French conglomerate that specializes in naval defence and energy. Its two-megawatt turbine was lowered to the bottom of the bay two weeks ago.

The 1,000-tonne machine is about five storeys tall, but it is only a test model. It is anchored on the seabed at the eastern end of the bay in the Minas Passage, a five-kilometre-wide channel near Parrsboro, N.S. The powerful tides there left a smaller test turbine badly damaged in 2009.

A second test turbine will be installed next year.

The completed four-megawatt demonstration project will use a fraction of the 7,000 megawatt potential of the Minas Passage, the government said.


Written by Randy McDonald

November 23, 2016 at 9:20 pm

One Response

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  1. all this hoopla for 2 megawatts.

    I know it’s a demonstration, but 2 MW is really pretty small.

    More than half a century ago, Atomic Energy of Canada built a demonstration nuclear power reactor (called NPD) which was 20 MW — ten times the capacity of the Fundy project. It put its first power into the grid in 1962. When it became obvious they couldn’t scale that up by a factor of ten, they switched to what is now CANDU, and proved THAT just a few years later with the Douglas Point machine which was 200 MW (a hundred times the Fundy demo). Within two short decades of that, most of Ontario’s power was coming out of nuclear plants.

    That’s what technological success and proof-of-concept looks like. If you want a grid-scale solution, you have to prove something in the range of grid-scale.

    The maximum amount of CO2 we humans can dump into our atmosphere is one trillion tons. We are more than half way toward that, and at the rate we’re going we’ll get to one trillion in 24 years.

    This is sudden death. We simply do not have the luxury to parade meaningless non solutions in front of the world in an effort to pretend we’re doing something. We know what works, and we have to stop screwing around.

    Steve Aplin

    November 24, 2016 at 10:00 am

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