NewEast Energy eyes Minas Passage tidal demo
NewEast Energy Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of New Energy Corporation, has applied to the Nova Scotia Department of Energy for a permit to deploy up to 800kW of tidal power generation equipment in the Minas Passage at a location next to the existing Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) Crown Lease Area.
Specifically, the setup will consist of an array of floating grid connected New Energy EnviroGen power generation systems.
Energy produced with these turbines will flow to the Nova Scotia Power grid system through the existing FORCE substation.
The project timeline consists of a 3-year development window and also up to a 15-year demonstration phase.
The EnviroGen power generation systems are based on a vertical axis cross flow turbine.
This is a slow turning turbine oriented across the moving water column.
These systems typically float to keep the electrical equipment out of the water and position the rotor in the highest water velocity regime.
The platform and turbine genset are held in place by anchors on the sea bed. – the only contact with the sea floor other than an electric cable back to shore.
New Energy has also monitored its turbines for impact on aquatic life.
An independent study has not observed mortality or injuries of fish having to pass very close or through the turbine.
Staged Approach to Project Development
The Bay of Fundy project will represent the first salt water (tidal) commercial demonstration of the EnviroGen power generation systems.
The company will address logistic and other issues not present in fresh water applications, as part of the project plan.
The project will go through stages that include an initial pilot installation using New Energy’s 25kW (rerated to 50kW) device.
This initial pilot phase involves the installation of two 25/50kW EnviroGen Power Generation systems, that once proven, will set the stage for the scale up and full build out phases, consisting of the installation of three 250kW units, by proving out all steps required to assemble, deploy, interconnect, and operate the power plant without incurring the potential high costs of having to rework the processes and procedures with the larger systems.
Phase 1 – Pilot Installation
Phase 1 includes two main objectives:
To demonstrate the installation and operation of New Energy’s EnviroGen Power Generation Systems through a limited deployment of 100kW of generating capacity to shake out logistical or technical issues in deploying and operating the power generation systems prior to the main deployment.
The company will use this experience to fine tune the process used to deploy the larger systems and also incorporate any modifications required to ensure successful operation of the full plant.
To engage with stakeholders who have varying interests including: environmental concerns, impact on livelihoods, local and regional economic benefits including opportunities for employment, and even benefits to the provincial electrical system. The floating systems offer the opportunity for stakeholders to physically see the equipment in operation allowing them to gain a better understanding of how they work and also giving them an opportunity to provide any feedback as to operational improvements. This engagement process will be used to better develop the long-term project plan for the full plant build-out taking into consideration the broader implications of the project.
Phase 2 – 250kW Scale Up
Phase 2 will scale the systems from 50kW to 250kW. The scale up will accomplish two basic objectives:
Scale-up the design from the proven 25/50kW system size to a full 250kW size including input from Phase 1.
Prepare for the full roll-out of the array of 250kW systems.
After approximately 6 months, a scaled-up version of the 25/50kW systems should then be built and deployed.
The scaled-up version should ultimately have an output capacity of 250kW.
Phase 3 – Full Build-Out
In conclusion, the final phase of the project will deploy the remaining two 250kW units in an array configuration.
With all equipment in place, a monitoring program will follow.
This will include tracking systems for performance, environmental impact, and also impacts on any other stakeholders.
The plant should run for the duration of the 15-year demonstration program.
After that, decision will come whether to extend the life of the plant and/or deploy it in other locations.