Illustration (Photo courtesy of UVic Photo)

Canadian province invests $1.5M in tidal energy research

The government of British Columbia has provided C$2 million ($1.5 million) to the University of Victoria Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) for research into tidal energy technologies.

Illustration (Photo courtesy of UVic Photo)
Illustration (Photo courtesy of UVic Photo)
Illustration (Photo courtesy of UVic Photo)

The provincial funding will support research on tidal turbines and other renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and low-carbon hydrogen at PRIMED’s Blind Channel Test Centre, on West Thurlow Island, approximately 35 kilometers northeast of Campbell River.

The project will compare these new technologies and test how they perform in conditions on the West Coast, one of the most energetic tidal and wave climates in the world.

PRIMED projects are expected to support diversification of British Columbia’s marine energy sector, clean-tech job creation, and innovations that can be adopted by coastal communities around the world to support the transition to clean energy.

Remote communities that are at greater risk of power disruptions during periods of bad weather can especially benefit from development of local power generation, building resiliency to unexpected events throughout the year, according to the British Columbia province.

George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said: “Marine renewable technology has incredible potential as a source for clean energy, and British Columbia will benefit from investing in the development of wind, wave and tidal energy technologies right here on the West Coast. This funding will help continue the incredible and important work of UVic’s PRIMED to develop clean energy technologies for coastal communities and further our electrification plans.”

Brad Buckham, chair at UVic mechanical engineering and co-director of PRIMED, added: “British Columbia’s coast is blessed with an abundance of renewable tidal power resources that can be harnessed for a clean energy future.

“Working collaboratively with supportive partners in the public and private sectors, our role at UVic is to design the technology that will lead us to achieving this vision, with many exciting economic, environmental and social benefits for remote, rural and coastal communities throughout our province.”

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