Nova Scotia launches C$150,000 tidal energy testing call

The Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA), in cooperation with Nova Scotia’s Department of Energy (NSDOE) and Dalhousie University, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for testing of innovative technologies and methodologies related to tidal energy at Dalhousie University’s Aquatron test tank facility. 

Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan; Image source: Nova Scotia Department of Energy

A research fund of CAD 150,000, announced by Nova Scoatia’s Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan on January 16has been created to offset some of the costs of experimentation at the Aquatron facility. Up to five projects are expected to receive funding, ranging from CAD 30,000 to CAD 40,000 cash award per project. Project duration can vary depending on the type of research proposed, however, all projects should be completed within approximately one year from the start date.

The deadline for submitting proposals is February 16.

This is the first RFP issued under the recently created Aquatron Tidal Energy Research Program, part of a larger funding initiative known as the Research Innovation in Tidal Energy (RITE) Fund, which was launched by the OERA in 2016 in partnership with Marine Renewables Canada, FORCE and NSDOE with a goal to create a CAD 35 million research and innovation fund.

The objective of this call is to solicit a variety of projects for implementation at the Aquatron, with the ultimate aim of addressing specific technical challenges faced by Nova Scotia’s tidal energy industry.

Availability and accessibility to high quality field testing centres and laboratory facilities are critical to growing hub capacity and reputation, OERA said. The FORCE tidal demonstration site in the Bay of Fundy serves as the pre-eminent field testing location for Canada, while for laboratory testing, Dalhousie University’s Aquatron is considered one of the largest and most versatile aquatic research facilities in the country. OERA stated that the Aquatron offers a robust, repeatable and reliable test environment for use in de-risking tidal related development activities.