Photo: Sustainable Marine's Tidal Pioneer and PLAT-I floating tidal energy platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)

Canada’s first instream tidal energy project set for early 2022 delivery

Sustainable Marine has unveiled plans to start operating its floating tidal energy platform early in 2022 to demonstrate that Nova Scotia can produce vast amounts of clean and predictable energy from its world-famous tidal streams.

Sustainable Marine's Tidal Pioneer and PLAT-I floating tidal energy platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)
Sustainable Marine’s Tidal Pioneer and PLAT-I floating tidal energy platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)

Sustainable Marine has completed the new substation at Grand Passage, required to link what’s said to be the world’s first floating tidal energy array to Nova Scotia grid.

The company’s PLAT-I tidal energy platform has also been installed and is due to be grid-connected and generating energy by early 2022.

This news comes as Sustainable Marine ramps up capacity in the province, following a multi-million-dollar investment in the most advanced marine operations support vessel of its kind on the East Coast of Canada – the Tidal Pioneer.

According to Sustainable Marine, this combined with a new recruitment drive is firmly establishing its capability to deliver turnkey solutions to support the significant international tidal and floating wind projects anticipated across the region.

Jason Hayman, CEO of Sustainable Marine, said: “We are on target to connect the platform to the substation in the first quarter of next year. This will be a significant milestone for marine energy in Nova Scotia as it will be the first floating tidal platform to connect directly into the power grid.”

To remind, in November 2020, Sustainable Marine secured C$28.5 million (€18.4 million) from the Canadian government to develop a o floating tidal energy array in Nova Scotia.

Environmental programme for robust analysis of impacts on marine life

Currently stationed at Grand Passage, Sustainable Marine’s PLAT-I platform is being used to deliver a rigorous environmental monitoring program, which has been underway since 2018, testing state-of-the-art underwater cameras, hydrophones, echosounders and tracking devices to record marine life interactions in the high-flow environment.

Further investment in a state-of-the-art environmental monitoring program will deliver a comprehensive and robust analysis of the technology’s impact on marine life, understood at this stage to be negligible by the international scientific community, according to Sustainable Marine.

Hundreds of hours and terabytes of data have been collected and analysed to date, according to the company.

Sustainable Marine also said it is collaborating with the Ocean Tracking Network – a global aquatic research, data management and partnership organization based at Dalhousie University – which has installed two acoustic receivers on the platform to detect tagged fish. Data collected will help inform understanding of the movement of aquatic species around the system.

In addition to this comprehensive environmental monitoring effort, Sustainable Marine has engaged with Mi’kmaq community leadership and organizations. As part of the journey at Grand Passage, the team is learning about the importance of observing traditional Mi’kmaq environmental stewardship – an essential shared principle to assist coastal and remote communities in their mission to achieve net zero.