Nova Scotia makes Bay of Fundy open for tidal business

Illustration/Cape Sharp Tidal turbine installation in the Bay of Fundy (Photo: FORCE)

The government of Nova Scotia has introduced amendments to the Marine Renewable-energy Act that allow the province to grant demonstration permits for tidal energy projects of up to 5MW anywhere in the Bay of Fundy.

The amendments, introduced on October 5, 2017, by Nova Scotia’s Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, will also allow allow companies to sell the electricity they generate at a lower price than existing tidal feed-in-tariffs.

With the consent of the Natural Resources Minister, the energy minister will be able to issue permits for up to five years. The permits can be renewed for up to five years, but not longer than a total of 18 years, according to the amendment bill.

Nova Scotia government noted the performance will be one of the considerations for renewal.

The energy minister will also have the authority to negotiate and issue power purchase agreements for up to 15 years and hold operators accountable.

Nova Scotia province will not authorize more than 10MW of total power under the amendment and operators are still required to have all applicable permits and environmental approvals, according to Nova Scotia government.

Geoff MacLellan said: “Technology in this industry is evolving rapidly, and if we don’t adapt we risk being left behind. By taking this next step, Nova Scotia remains a world leader in developing clean, renewable tidal energy in a way that protects the environment, creates opportunities in rural communities and keeps power rates stable.”

Other changes to the act, originally introduced in April 2015, include harmonizing it with the Electricity Act and other minor housekeeping amendments.