Digby Welcomes Tidal Turbines (Canada)

The tidal turbines are coming and Digby wants to be at the centre of the action.

The town has launched a campaign to position itself as a service centre for the tidal energy industry that is beginning to evolve in parts of the Bay of Fundy.

“We are the largest port on the Nova Scotia side of the bay and the only port with water depth capable of providing services for the tidal turbine industry,” Jeff Sunderland, harbour manager for the Digby Harbour Port Association, said Friday.

The harbour will require some dredging, the existing wharf will require some strengthening to handle the heavy lifting but “other than that, there is a long list of features Digby has in its favour as a service centre for this new industry,” he said.

During a meeting of the Digby industrial commission on Thursday, local politicians and business leaders agreed the community should band together to assert itself as a potential service centre.

“The industry is in its infancy but has huge potential for our rural community,” Digby Mayor Ben Cleveland said.

The town and surrounding area has a workforce that would compliment a service sector for the turbine industry, he said.

The commission will promote the town as a service centre for the tidal turbines at next week’s 2011 Renewable Energy Conference in Halifax. Representatives of the town and the commission will use the two-day conference that starts Tuesday at the World Trade and Convention Centre to roll out their campaign.

The town will have a booth at the event, which is billed as a networking opportunity for producers, developers, utilities, manufacturers, suppliers, large energy consumers, investors and government.

“At least four tidal turbines are scheduled to be installed in the Minas Passage,” Matt Lumley, spokesman for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy, said.

There is a possibility the damaged $10-million turbine yanked out of the Bay of Fundy by partners OpenHydro of Ireland and Nova Scotia Power Inc. will be repositioned during 2011.

Atlantis Resources Corp. is supposed to install its AK1000 turbine in the Minas Basin in the summer of 2012. Minas Basin Pulp and Power and Alstom of France are also planning on installing turbines in the basin that summer, said Lumley.

Each of the turbines will be connected to subsea transmission cables being installed by Fundy Ocean Research.

Premier Darrell Dexter has described this project as having the largest in-stream tidal power capacity in the world.

By Bill Power (thechronicleherald)


Source: thechronicleherald, April 18, 2011; Image: atlantisresourcescorporation