May 11, 2022
Ocean energy pioneer Sustainable Marine today announced it has successfully harnessed the enormous tidal currents in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, delivering the first floating in-stream tidal power to Nova Scotia’s grid.
Sustainable Marine CEO Jason Hayman said it marks a significant milestone both for the company and Canada’s broader marine energy ambitions.
It demonstrates that the Bay of Fundy’s huge tidal energy resource - which contains more than four times the combined flow of every freshwater river in the world – can be effectively harnessed providing up to 2500MW of clean and predictable energy for Canada.
Nova Scotia has allocated circa 30MW of capacity via demonstration permits and berths at FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy) for developers to demonstrate the effectiveness, cost and environmental effects associated with this new form of energy generation. These demonstration projects provide developers with a pathway to reduce costs on route to commercial projects with regulatory framework already in place to deliver up to 300MW of installed capacity. It further aligns with the region’s net-zero commitments to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030.
“Achieving ‘first power’ to the grid from our new platform in Grand Passage signals a real inflection point for our business,” said Mr Hayman. “It crystalises the journey we’ve been on, following almost a decade of rigorous research, development and testing. The project has enabled Sustainable Marine to gradually acquire skills and resources to deliver turnkey projects, including a multipurpose construction vessel called the Tidal Pioneer, and a suite of next-generation, remotely operated subsea installation machines supporting our novel Swift Anchors technology.
“It can be challenging to deliver these first-of-a-kind projects in highly energetic environments, but we have taken a staged and step-by-step approach to manage the technical risks and prove the ultra-low environmental impact of our technology. We are continuing to actively monitor for any interactions with marine animals, and will build up power production in stages, under the current constraints to operate during daylight hours.
“Sustainable Marine’s work in Canada perfectly captures our overarching company mission to help coastal and island communities achieve energy independence and fight climate change by harvesting clean energy from the waters around them. There are tremendous opportunities for regions like Nova Scotia to maximise their natural assets and develop a robust marine energy infrastructure to build energy resilience and accelerate net zero progress.”
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said: "Sustainable Marine Energy achieved a first in Canadian tidal energy history, delivering power from a floating platform in Grand Passage to Nova Scotia’s electricity grid. This project and others are positioning Nova Scotia as a global player in the tidal energy sector and are creating green technologies, green jobs, a cleaner environment and a predictable, renewable source of electricity for Nova Scotians.”
Edinburgh-headquartered Sustainable Marine is preparing to deliver the world’s first floating tidal array at FORCE, and is using its demonstration site at Grand Passage to prove up its technology and environmental monitoring systems, before commencing deployments in the Minas Passage – renowned as the ‘Everest of tidal energy’.
The company has a portfolio of 15 patented technologies. Aside from tidal energy, its diverse offering aims to empower the ‘blue economy’ at large providing modular platforms, mooring, and anchoring solutions to address key challenges in the deployment of marine renewable energy and floating wind.