Photo: Sustainable Marine's PLAT-I tidal device (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)

Sustainable Marine gets onboard Canada’s ocean energy smart grid scheme

Sustainable Marine Energy has joined a technology partnership, backed by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, to develop a smart electrical grid solution for remote communities using ocean energy generators.

A photo of Sustainable Marine's PLAT-I tidal device (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)
Sustainable Marine’s PLAT-I tidal device (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)

Supported with the funding from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the Ocean Energy Smart Grid Integration Project brings together engineering consultancy BMT and project partners Sustainable Marine, University of Victoria, Rainhouse, and Turtle Island Innovation.

The project partners will work together to commercialize the integration of ocean energy solutions to help reduce the dependence of diesel power generation in rural communities and increase the opportunity for use of renewable sources of energy.

The Ocean Energy Smart Grid Integration Project will seek to develop a single controller that has algorithms for different communities, whereas currently there is a bespoke design for each community.

With this solution, algorithms are selected and parameterized based on ratings of the equipment. The development of this technology will not only support the greening of energy for communities of all sizes with global market opportunity, but it will also create new economic activity, build capabilities in ocean energy smart grid integration, and create new jobs, according to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

With a total project value of C$975,000, the Ocean Supercluster will provide over C$630,000 in funding for the project, with around C$340,000 coming from industry partners.

Jason Hayman, CEO of Sustainable Marine, said: “This technology partnership has the potential to address energy challenges experienced by remote and island communities in Canada, and around the world.

“These challenges include economic vulnerability due to the volatility of fuel prices, a lack of supplier diversity, higher likelihoods of disruption, and high carbon footprints.

“The team at Sustainable Marine have demonstrated that we can produce clean and predictable power from tidal streams, and we are looking forward to working with BMT and the rest of team to turn the power we produce into dispatchable power that can displace fossil fuel generation for island and remote coastal communities”.

Darcy Byrtus, President of BMT in Canada, added: “We are excited to partner with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and our teammates at Sustainable Marine to further the development of a smart electrical grid solution for remote communities using ocean energy generators. The Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program of the Ocean Supercluster is providing a unique opportunity to advance a truly innovative system that we believe has the potential to transform energy distribution in remote coastal communities”.

The International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on Ocean Energy Systems (OES) recently released a report called Ocean Energy in Islands and Remote Coastal Areas, which highlights the market opportunity for ocean energy technologies in remote areas due to the high cost of electricity, as is it is often supplied by diesel generators, and where the electricity demand is small, infrastructure such as submarine cables to connect to utility networks cannot be economically justified.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling the shared challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally-relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce.

To remind, Canada has in November 2020 made one of its largest-ever investments in tidal energy by awarding C$28.5 million (€18.4 million) to Sustainable Marine to develop a tidal energy array in Nova Scotia.

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The objective of the project is to provide up to 9 MW of predictable and clean renewable electricity to Nova Scotia’s electrical grid through Canada’s first floating tidal energy array.