Ocean energy firm Sustainable Marine today announced it has delivered the first floating in-stream tidal power to Nova Scotia’s grid, successfully harnessing the enormous tidal currents in Canada’s Bay of Fundy.

The news marks a significant milestone both for the company and Canada’s broader marine energy ambitions, Sustainable Marine CEO Jason Hayman, said:  “Achieving ‘first power’ to the grid from our new platform in Grand Passage signals a real inflection point for our business. It crystalises the journey we’ve been on, following almost a decade of rigorous research, development and testing.”

The project has enabled Sustainable Marine to gradually acquire skills and resources to deliver turnkey projects, including a multipurpose construction vessel called the Tidal Pioneer, and a suite of next-generation, remotely operated subsea installation machines supporting it’s novel Swift Anchors technology.

“It can be challenging to deliver these first-of-a-kind projects in highly energetic environments, but we have taken a staged and step-by-step approach to manage the technical risks and prove the ultra-low environmental impact of our technology,” Hayman said. “We are continuing to actively monitor for any interactions with marine animals, and will build up power production in stages, under the current constraints to operate during daylight hours.”

He said the new project demonstrates that the Bay of Fundy’s huge tidal energy resource – which contains more than four times the combined flow of every freshwater river in the world – can be effectively harnessed providing up to 2500MW of clean and predictable energy for Canada.

Nova Scotia has allocated circa 30MW of capacity via demonstration permits and berths at FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy) for developers to demonstrate the effectiveness, cost and environmental effects associated with this new form of energy generation. These demonstration projects provide developers with a pathway to reduce costs on route to commercial projects with regulatory framework already in place to deliver up to 300MW of installed capacity. It further aligns with the region’s net-zero commitments to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030.

Edinburgh-headquartered Sustainable Marine is preparing to deliver the world’s first floating tidal array at FORCE, and is using its demonstration site at Grand Passage to prove up its technology and environmental monitoring systems, before commencing deployments in the Minas Passage – renowned as the ‘Everest of tidal energy’.