The largest tidal turbine deployed so far in North America – an OpenHydro 2MW machine  – is successfully generating power for Nova Scotia.

Cape Sharp Tidal – a joint venture between Emera and OpenHydro, a DCNS company – deployed the Open-Centre Turbine on 7 November at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE).

Twenty-four hours after deployment, the project’s marine operations team safely connected the turbine’s subsea cable with the FORCE subsea cable, which connects to the on-shore sub-station.

 “This is a huge achievement for Cape Sharp Tidal,” said Thierry Kalanquin, Chairman of OpenHydro and Senior Vice President, Energy and Marine Infrastructure at DCNS. “Last week, the Open-Centre Turbine supported the most powerful tidal stream of the year without any stress to the system. The successful delivery of this turbine, the most powerful in north America, also represents a significant milestone for the global tidal industry.

“When it is joined by a second device in 2017, Cape Sharp Tidal will be one of the largest generating, in-stream tidal energy arrays anywhere in the world. The project is providing us with unique insights into what is required to build commercial scale arrays. It will help us accelerate delivery of the pipeline of ocean energy projects we have secured across the globe and grow our position at the forefront of the tidal power industry.”

The entire turbine system, including all monitors and communications links, is being thoroughly tested, prior to being fully commissioned in a few weeks. The electrical conversion system has been validated by the Canadian Standards Association which ensures the Open-Centre Turbine power export is compliant with the Canadian grid.

Cape Sharp Tidal has invested tens of millions of dollars to develop the local tidal industry and supply chain – meeting its commitment to spend 70% of project costs in Nova Scotia. More than 300 people have been employed on the project in areas such as fabrication, environmental monitoring, engineering, health and safety and marine services. 

Nancy Tower, Chief Corporate Development Officer of Emera Inc., commented: “Emera’s investment in Cape Sharp Tidal is an investment in Nova Scotia’s renewable energy future. We’re already seeing growth and momentum in the local tidal industry. It’s a promising economic driver and an important local source of clean energy with benefits for the whole Bay of Fundy region.”

Data is being collected from a number of monitoring devices mounted on the turbine to collect information on fish and mammal interactions with the turbine. Monitoring reports will contribute to a growing international body of research.