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We Started the Grand Passage Demonstration Project in 2018


The passage between Brier and Long Island on the Digby neck provides an ideal environment for testing and evaluating the performance of tidal energy platforms.

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It also provides the opportunity to develop and test important

enabling technologies such as environmental monitoring systems and develop a better understanding of how the system interacts with the environment around it.



Pempa’q In-stream Tidal Energy Project

Sustainable Marine is working to deliver the world’s first floating tidal energy array in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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The project will be delivered in multiple phases to provide

up to 9MW of clean predictable tidal energy into the Nova Scotia grid. 

The Pempa’q Project takes its name from the Mi’kmaq First Nation word ‘Pempa’q’ meaning ‘rise of the tide’, in honour of the Bay of Fundy’s Indigenous communities.


We recognize and appreciate that this area

is a popular tourist destination due to the abundant marine life including sea birds, dolphins, harbour porpoise, and whales. We are committed to co-existing with these magnificent marine animals and other stakeholders in the area.

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Sustainable Marine has engaged a series of Canadian specialists

to further support its environmental monitoring efforts, regarded as one of the most ambitious and advanced ever delivered in the tidal energy sector.

Sustainable Marine uses onboard cameras to check for marine wildlife within the vicinity of the platform.

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With the support of fish tracking experts Innovasea,

Sustainable Marine is now trialling advanced techniques that could further enhance knowledge of the marine ecosystem - including fish tag triangulation, tests of close-range high-resolution imaging sonar and exploration of artificial intelligence techniques for video processing.

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This new tranche of work builds on Sustainable Marine’s

extensive environmental monitoring efforts previously carried out under the Ocean Energy Research Association’s Pathway project to test imaging sonar, surface and bottom mounted echosounders and to automate reporting of data.

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Sustainable Marine is also contributing to FORCE’s (Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy) Risk Assessment Program (RAP) by supporting a fish tagging campaign in the Minas Passage.


The RAP project is building a map of likelihood of the different species of fish being present at various locations in Minas Passage at different states of tide and over the seasons and the likelihood of this overlapping with deployment locations of in-stream tidal turbines.


Present results summarized in FORCE’s RAP Annual Report 2022 indicate that at slower current tide stages, fish in the passage are able to spread out in the relatively slow, calm water but as current speeds pick up fish tend to move closer to shore and into sheltered areas such as West Bay.

We understand that people are concerned that marine animals or fish might come into close contact with tidal energy devices because they are attracted to the device for purposes of feeding, shelter, or out of curiosity, or because they are not strong enough to avoid currents that might sweep them past our platform and potentially through our turbines.

Because of this we have embarked on a mission to deliver a comprehensive monitoring program to learn about the way that marine animals and fish behave in strong tidal streams, and how interact with instream tidal energy systems.


This is very challenging for two reasons;
- the interactions are very rare, and it is very challenging to develop and deploy sensors that will work in these very turbulent and energetic environments, and
- interactions appear to be very rare, which may be because fish and marine animals are avoiding the systems.

So far, the status of knowledge remains the same as it was when in 2020, OES-Environmental published a ‘State of the Science Report’ which summarised finding from research efforts around the world, and stated:

“No instances of marine mammals, diving seabirds, or other marine animals colliding with an operational tidal or river turbine have been observed to date. Fish have been seen interacting with turbines but have not obviously been harmed by them.”

To learn more, visit this post on our LinkedIn page HERE.


We align with the following
UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy

  • SDG 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

  • SDG 10 Reduce Inequalities

  • SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • SDG 12 Responsible Production

  • SDG 13 Climate Action

  • SDG 14 Life Below Water

  • SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

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