Nova Scotia vets tidal barge designs for common use by industry

Illustration/Cape Sharp Tidal’s The Scotia Tide barge (Photo: Darren Pittman/Images East)

The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) is seeking proposals for the feasibility study to determine if there is an economic justification for building a common use tidal deployment and retrieval barge/drydock.

Commissioned by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy, the study will seek to determine the barge basic design and essential operational features that would result in cost savings to the different technology developers and other non-tidal marine operators.

Also, it is expected to describe on a conceptual level the ownership, operating modes and design and construction costs of such a barge, it is stated in the request for proposals open until March 5, 2018.

Marine operational experience in the Bay of Fundy and elsewhere in the world has highlighted the difficulties and elevated costs associated with vessel operations in high flow environments.

Recent studies suggest that a large, shared use submersible barge/drydock for turbine transport from the manufacturing site in Nova Scotia, and possibly deployment or retrieval might reduce operational costs, leading to more rapid tidal project implementation, according to OERA.

A common use barge shared by different project developers for turbine transport may provide other services as well, such as facilitating device inspections and cable connections, and might possibly be useful to other marine industries like aquaculture, OERA said.

The project is expected to start in March, with the completion date set for the end of June, 2018.

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