HALIFAX—The Nova Scotia Department of Energy has pegged an Irish firm to build a tidal energy installation at a test site in the Bay of Fundy.
OpenHydro, a subsidiary of French naval defence firm DCNS S.A., was chosen by the provincial energy ministry to build the four-megawatt tidal demonstration project at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) test site.
Located between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy is home to the highest tidal range in the world.
The four-megawatt project will see OpenHydro install a pair of its 16-metre tall open-centre turbines.
Both commercial-scale turbines will be connected to the provincial power grid and will provide the energy needs of 1,000 customers in Nova Scotia.
OpenHydro said the project has the potential to be the world’s first multi-megawatt array of interconnected tidal turbines.
One of the company’s 16-metre tidal turbines is currently operating off the coast of France.
A group led by OpenHydro and Nova Scotia-based energy firm Emera Inc., will deliver the project that they hope will reach commercial scale with a potential to grow to 300 megawatts.
“We believe in the power of the Bay of Fundy,” Emera president and CEO Chris Huskilson said in a statement.
“Along with OpenHydro, we are very proud to have been the first to deploy a tidal turbine in these waters. Now, together with (J.D. Irving Ltd.), we’re excited to continue development of the tidal industry in Nova Scotia and increase the importance of tidal in our region’s energy mix.”
The companies said the procurement process will launch in the near future, with a schedule completion date of 2015.