Photo: PLAT-I tidal energy platform (Photo: Sustainable Marine Energy)

PLAT-I steers to Grand Passage as demo anchors for public check

Nova Scotia’s Department of Energy has opened a 30-day public comment period for the Grand Passage tidal demonstration project on the day the PLAT-I tidal energy test platform entered Halifax Port.

The 280kW PLAT-I device arrived in Halifax aboard Atlantic Sky container ship after leaving the Liverpool Port early last week.

Bound for Bay of Fundy’s Grand Passage, Sustainable Marine Energy’s PLAT-I platform featuring Schottel Hydro‘s SIT250 turbines – is planned to be deployed for an off-grid demonstration for a period of a minimum of three months beginning in late summer, and into fall 2018.

According to the application filed to Nova Scotia authorities by Black Rock Tidal Power (BRTP) – a Schottel Hydro company also partnering in the project – the goal of the project is to conduct a demonstration test program to prove PLAT-I performance in Nova Scotia’s tidal conditions.

The application – up for public comments until August 16, 2018 – states the second objective of the demo project is to trial a variety of environmental monitoring technologies and techniques to investigate interactions between PLAT-I and marine life.

Turbine inspection on PLAT-I (Photo: Sustainable Marine Energy)

The project is also expected to contribute to the development of local and regional capacity with regards to development and operation of tidal energy projects.

A non-profit Nova Scotia-based company Sustainable Oceans Applied Research (SOAR) has been engaged to assist BRTP and its partners in site characterization, permitting and stakeholder engagement for the project.

Grand Passage, located between communities of Westport and Freeport in Digby County, in Canada’s Province of Nova Scotia, will serve as the site of the first North American application of the PLAT-I technology.

Namely, PLAT-I had a successful inaugural deployment in Connel Sound in Scotland throughout late 2017 and the first half of this year.

“The Grand Passage location has the great advantage of having strong tidal currents and shelter from open ocean waves but also allowing easy access to the platform.

“Through this project BRTP and its partners intend to continue progressive development of community and utility-scale floating tidal energy devices that can be installed in rivers and tidal currents around the world to provide clean, renewable electricity for remote communities, industrial facilities, and utilities,” it is stated in the application to Nova Scotia Energy Department.

With design adapted for more sheltered and slightly more benign sites in terms of wave climate – corresponding to the I in the platform’s name which stands for Inshore – PLAT-I features four SIT250 turbines each rated at 70kW.

The innovative design of PLAT-I facilitates easy and low-cost transport, assembly and launching close to the intended deployment site, and according to Sustainable Marine Energy, all tasks can be performed using local, readily available equipment.

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