Canadian tidal energy project bags innovation funding

Acadia University-led tidal energy research project has secured funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to investigate the relationship between environment and tidal turbines.

The project, worth C$2.8 million ($2.2 million), will receive a little over C$1.1 million ($877,000) in research funding from CFI with additional matching funds to come from other funding sources, according to Acadia University.

The multi-institutional project, involving researchers from Acadia, Dalhousie, and Memorial universities as well as those from University of New Brunswick, will study the impact of the environment on in-stream tidal turbines, and the impact of tidal turbines on the environment.

The funds will enable creation of the world’s first observation and prediction system for investigating the physical and biological marine environment in high-flow conditions at turbulence-resolving scales, Acadia University said.

Combined with the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy’s (FORCE) test site, this observation and prediction system will be used to provide the scientific evidence needed to determine the scale of a tidal energy industry in the Bay of Fundy that is economically feasible and environmentally acceptable.

Roseann O’Reilly-Runte, President and CEO of CFI, said: “The Innovation Fund encourages institutions and its researchers to think big and strive to be global leaders by conducting world-class research. This funding pushes researchers to aim higher in their pursuits by collaborating across disciplines, institutions and sectors.

“With this support, institutions can build on their current research strengths and set their sights on accelerating research that will create social, health, environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.”