A company has been selected to remove the abandoned Cape Sharp tidal turbine from the Bay of Fundy and fill its empty berth.
BigMoon Canada Corp. was the successful applicant to fill berth D at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), which studies tidal stream technology.
BigMoon was selected by an independent procurement administrator, Power Advisory LLC, Nova Scotia confirmed on Wednesday in a press release.
The company has proposed the design, construction, and operation of “eight 500 kW in-stream tidal energy generators with an aggregate capacity of 4 MW,” according to the permit issued by the province.
The province and backers of tidal energy have repeatedly touted the massive energy potential of the Bay of Fundy’s tides — which are among the most powerful in the world.
It was a theme echoed by the province’s energy minister Derek Mombourquette in a statement on Wednesday.
“Nova Scotia is a world leader in tidal energy development and our Bay of Fundy provides the ultimate test for new technology,”
“I am pleased we were able to find a private sector solution for the retrieval of the Cape Sharp turbine, and I continue to have great optimism for tidal technology development here because of this industry’s enormous potential and our local expertise.”
A study commissioned by the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia says by 2040, the tidal energy industry could contribute up to $1.7 billion to Nova Scotia’s gross domestic product and create up to 22,000 full-time jobs.
But large scale commercial efforts have so far failed to harness the power of the Bay of Fundy.
Chief among them was the failed Cape Sharp tidal turbine, a joint project between the now-bankrupt OpenHydro and Emera Inc., the parent company of Nova Scotia Power.
That project ended in 2018 when OpenHydro went into bankruptcy protection and Emera pulled out of the project in response.
Despite the company successfully connecting a two-megawatt turbine to Nova Scotia’s electricity grid in July 2018, the turbine was “damaged beyond repair” in September 2018, according to bankruptcy filings.
The massive turbine has sat at the bottom of the Bay of Fundy ever since. The province says it does not pose a risk to marine life or the environment and it remains non-operational.
As part of the permit announced on Wednesday, BigMoon has provided a $4.5-million security deposit in relation to its commitment to retrieve the Cape Sharp turbine.
It has until Dec. 31, 2024, to raise the turbine from the Bay of Fundy.
With files from The Canadian Press