Saturday, May 23, 2009

Test turbines in line for $350m
Thu. May 21 - 4:46 AM

Three underwater test turbines proposed for the Bay of Fundy may be eligible for $350 million in federal funds, the Ocean Renewable Energy Group said Wednesday.

"We have three of the world-leading tidal technologies being tested to a Fundy standard in a partnership involving leading local industry and Nova Scotia Power. We would like to partner with Natural Resources Canada to make sure that this project is the critical step to making renewable tidal energy a success for Atlantic Canada," said tidal energy consultant Doug Keefe in a news release.

Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro of Ireland are one of three groups of companies involved in a pilot project announced by the provincial government in 2007 to test tidal power technology in the bay. Each turbine is expected to cost $10 million to $15 million.

The NSP-OpenHydro unit is scheduled for deployment this fall.

The other successful bidders were Clean Current of British Columbia and Minas Basin Pulp and Power Co. of Hantsport. Pending environmental approvals, the other two projects are scheduled to launch their turbines in 2010.

The proposed site for all three turbines is in the Minas Passage area of the Bay of Fundy, about 10 kilometres west of Parrsboro. Minas Basin also won the contract to build a tidal energy test facility worth $12 million to $14 million. Federal Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt announced Tuesday that $350 million will be available for research and development and demonstrations for marine energy technologies under the Clean Energy Fund.

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