Photo: PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)

Sustainable Marine launches ‘next-gen’ floating tidal platform

UK-based company Sustainable Marine Energy has unveiled its new PLAT-I tidal energy platform that will be tested in the Bay of Fundy’s Grand Passage before moving to the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) to form the world’s first floating tidal energy array.

Photo of PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)
PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)

Construction of the PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform was recently completed at A.F. Theriault & Son in Meteghan in Nova Scotia and launched in the Bay of Fundy, which experiences the highest tides on earth.

The 420kW platform will undergo commissioning and testing in Grand Passage and will then be moved to the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) site as part of the first phase of the Pempa’q In-stream Tidal Energy Project.

The total project will deliver up to 9MW of electricity to the Nova Scotia grid. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and power approximately 3000 homes in Nova Scotia, according to Sustainable Marine.

Jason Hayman, CEO of Sustainable Marine, said: “This ‘tidal technology’ is the result of a tremendous international effort combining world-class scientific and engineering expertise from our German, Scottish and Canadian teams, and is the culmination of a decade of research and development. We are very fortunate to have such strong support from our major shareholders, SCHOTTEL and Scottish Enterprise, the Government of Canada, and a wide range of partners and collaborators.

Photo of PLAT-I 6.40 in the Bay of Fundy (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)
PLAT-I 6.40 in the Bay of Fundy (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)

“The PLAT-I 6.40 has been designed specifically for the Pempa’q Project – where we will deliver the world’s first floating tidal array – in Nova Scotia, which has the best natural resources in the world to produce clean renewable tidal energy”.

The Pempa’q Instream Tidal Energy project is supported by the Government of Canada with $28.5million in funding – one of Canada’s largest-ever investments in tidal energy.

Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, said: “We are harnessing the power of our tides to power our homes, our businesses and our communities. This is how we build our clean energy future”.

Elisa Obermann, executive director of Marine Renewables Canada, said: “The construction and launch of Sustainable Marine’s floating in-stream tidal technology is a significant milestone for Canada’s marine renewable energy sector. The project has engaged many local suppliers and offers a sustainable and clean solution for electricity production using a local resource. Projects and innovation like this are central to building Canada’s Blue Economy”.

Photo of PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)
PLAT-I 6.40 platform (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine Energy)

The PLAT-I 6.40 builds on the lessons learned and experience gained from Sustainable Marine’s previous successful deployments in Scotland and Nova Scotia.

It was designed specifically for the FORCE site, and produces 50% more power than its predecessor, the PLAT-I 4.63, which has undergone rigorous testing since 2017, firstly in Scotland before relocation to Grand Passage in Nova Scotia, in 2018.

The innovative tidal platform only requires two meters of water for launching and towing and is moored with a turret configuration allowing it to align with the tide or the river flow. It has been designed so its easy to install and is accessible for maintenance and servicing, addressing one of the key challenges experienced by earlier tidal energy developers.