Canada: Fundy Tidal, Digby County to Establish Tidal Energy R&D Facilities
The Municipality of Digby, the Town of Digby and Fundy Tidal Inc. have entered into an agreement to develop the “Digby Community Energy Trust” to coordinate resources and investment into infrastructure in support of research, development and commercialization of tidal power systems and services in the region.
The Trust also seeks to provide the core operating costs for the “Digby Community Energy Centre” which will provide ongoing testing and demonstration capabilities across the three Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) project sites awarded to Fundy Tidal by the Province of Nova Scotia.
Fundy Tidal received COMFIT approvals for projects in Digby County (1.95 MW in Digby Gut and 500 kW in each of Grand Passage and Petit Passage) and in Cape Breton (100 kW in Barra Strait and 500 kW in Great Bras d’Or Channel).
“The Municipality of the District of Digby is proud to play a role in the development of this up and coming industry. Tidal development is seen as a pivotal economic driver for the municipality and more importantly for the province and for Canada. This announcement fits well with our goal of becoming the “Greenest County in Nova Scotia”.
“We look forward to working with all of the partners in establishing Digby as a major player in this development,” stated Warden Linda Gregory.
The COMFIT approvals issued by the Province stipulate that Fundy Tidal work with the Province to establish testing & demonstration facilities for small-scale tidal systems as well as implement solutions to overcome distribution grid limitations in rural areas of SouthWest Nova Scotia which include storage, smart-grid and load balancing scenarios.
“We are excited and encouraged by this news,” said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Andrew Younger. “Digby’s actions and enthusiasm demonstrates the opportunities tidal energy brings to rural communities. Small-scale initiatives like Fundy Tidal’s COMFIT projects can have big impacts in their communities. This is evidence of that. We look forward to working with the Trust to develop and market Nova Scotia’s tidal energy industry.”
Fundy Tidal and BC-based Clean Current Power Systems Inc. (Clean Current) recently announced an agreement to test and demonstrate a 3.5m diameter Clean Current tidal turbine as part of a Tidal Power System (TPS), including energy storage and system controls that enable balancing of power production with community load (TPS project). The TPS project is expected to last 12 months, with a target commissioning date in the fall of 2014. These activities are targeted for the Digby Community Energy Centre location in Grand Passage making Clean Current the first company to utilize this new tidal testing and demonstration infrastructure.
“Digby County is not only a key location for the generation of tidal power but is also ideally situated to be the service and supply centre for tidal power projects under development by Fundy Tidal and at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) in the Bay of Fundy. The addition of testing and demonstration facilities to Digby County’s core competencies will further our aspirations to be the focal point of tidal power developments locally and abroad. The potential long-term socioeconomic benefits for the region are very exciting,” said Dana Morin of Fundy Tidal.
A planning group has been formed to finalize the details of the Trust and Community Energy Centre, attract further partnerships and garner financial support from the federal and provincial governments with a target of having firm commitments in place by spring of 2014. Representatives from Digby’s “Team Tidal” and Fundy Tidal are in Ottawa this week to attend the Marine Renewables Canada annual conference and participate in a pre event hosted by the organization entitled “Accelerating Innovation for Canada’s Marine Renewable Energy Industry”.
“Digby County is perfectly positioned to become the home for Tidal Power Development in Canada, which is not only important to Digby, but for many other communities in Nova Scotia. The Town is excited to have become a partner in this trust,” commented Mayor Ben Cleveland.
Press release, November 20, 2013; Image: fundytidal