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Bay of Fundy tidal site available, $4.5M to remove Cape Sharp turbine required

The turbine for the Cape Sharp Tidal project, seen at the Pictou Shipyard, N.S., in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The Nova Scotia government says that any company interested in using the site of a now-defunct tidal turbine must put up $4.5 million to cover the costs of removing the experimental device.

The Cape Sharp Tidal turbine was a joint operation between Dublin-based OpenHydro Ltd. and Emera Inc., the parent company of Nova Scotia Power. 

But the experimental in-stream turbine has sat abandoned, unused and “damaged beyond repair” at the bottom of the Bay of Fundy since Sept. 2018, after OpenHydro declared bankruptcy.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia issues permits for new tidal energy projects in the Bay of Fundy

On Friday, Nova Scotia’s energy minister Derek Mombourquette confirmed that the province has hired a consultant, John Dalton, to help find a private company that is willing to pay the bill for removing the turbine in exchange for use of the testing site currently occupied by the turbine.

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Dalton, the president of consulting firm Power Advisory LLC, will be tasked with issuing a tender on behalf of the province and evaluating the companies interested in the test berth.

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Mines and Energy Derek Mombourquette speaks with Global News on July 4, 2019. Alexander Quon/Global News

OpenHydro had been required to put up a $1-million bond as part of their deal, which at the time was thought would be enough to cover any costs of retrieving the turbine from the Bay of Fundy.

But that’s no longer the case.

“We’ve gone back and looked at what the estimated cost would be now today, to remove that. That’s where the [$4.5 million comes] up,” Momburquette said. 
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Any company interested in the site will be required to have at minimum $4.5 million in security.

Click to play video: 'Emera Inc. left with no ‘practical choice’ but to pull support from Cape Sharp Tidal project'
Emera Inc. left with no ‘practical choice’ but to pull support from Cape Sharp Tidal project

Momburquette said that they’ve had discussions with a number of private companies about the site.

“We’re going to put this out in the next few weeks and I’m very confident we’ll have some companies bid,” he said.

Results are expected by spring. Retrieval and disposal of the Cape Sharp turbine could happen in the second half of 2020.

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