Government is committing more than $4 million to fund projects in the tidal industry, Energy Minister Andrew Younger announced on March 28.
The funding will go towards increasing the electrical capacity at Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) to accommodate up to 20 MW of connection. This will allow the next level of device deployments, including small arrays, to connect to the electricity grid from FORCE.
Government also announced the tidal energy developers who have won a chance to deploy their technologies in the Bay of Fundy's Minas Passage.
Nova Scotia's recent tender for FORCE berths attracted three qualified bidders. OpenHydro and Black Rock Tidal Power have been chosen to participate at the research and development centre.
"We are pleased to welcome OpenHydro and Black Rock Tidal Power and their innovative technologies to Nova Scotia, a global centre of excellence for tidal energy development," said Mr. Younger.
"I'm committed to advancing the tidal sector and FORCE plays an important role by providing the platform for industry leaders to develop and test their technology in one of the best tidal resources in the world. Our investments today (March 28) are shaping the new tidal sector of tomorrow."
The projects use local suppliers in areas such as engineering, marine fabrication, marine operations which helps them develop expertise they can then export to global markets.
A group led by OpenHydro, with parent company DCNS Group of France and Maritime companies Emera, Atlantic Towing, Irving Shipbuilding and Irving Equipment, has been selected as a FORCE berth holder.
"OpenHydro has a long-established relationship with Emera and we're looking forward to a continued partnership with a company that shares our vision of tidal energy," said Thierry Kalanquin, executive chair of OpenHydro. "OpenHydro is proud to have been the first technology installed in the Bay of Fundy, and we remain convinced of the potential of the region as a major source of clean, renewable energy.
"We look forward to continuing to work with FORCE and building a long-term relationship with our industrial partner, Irving."
Black Rock Tidal Power is a Halifax-based company with European and Canadian partners, including Schottel of Germany, Tidal Stream of the United Kingdom, and Atlantic Towing, Allswater, Clearwater, Akoostix, Dynamic System Analysis and Seaforth Engineering of Nova Scotia.
"We are honoured to be one of the companies selected to demonstrate our innovative tidal power technology at FORCE," said Gerhard Jensen, CEO of Schottel Group. "Nova Scotia is a leader in this field, and the world will be watching closely as we demonstrate how tidal power can be affordable, environmentally friendly and extremely effective."
Minas Energy, an existing berth holder, also announced a new partnership with Bluewater to create an advanced floatation system to deploy Siemens turbines in the Bay of Fundy.
"Minas Energy is confident that our partnership with Siemens and Bluewater will help set the stage for the emerging tidal energy industry in Nova Scotia," said John Woods, vice-president of energy development for Minas Energy. "We look forward to working with the other berth holders, government and the public at large as we learn to harness this world-class resource."
"FORCE is excited to be working with the OpenHydro team again and to welcome Black Rock Tidal Power's new technology to the site," said FORCE general manager Tony Wright. "FORCE is a national effort to advance the science of tidal energy, and all Canadians can take pride in the fact that we are building a project that's attracting investment from players from around the world."
Nova Scotia's tidal energy market has advanced significantly in recent months, including a new provincial feed-in tariff, a tidal research memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom, and successfully deploying a sub-sea cable. The first devices are expected to be in place in 2015.
Nova Scotia will welcome tidal energy leaders from around the world this November when it hosts the first International Conference on Ocean Energy to be held in North America.