The proposed monitoring program for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) and Cape Sharp Tidal has been approved by Nova Scotia Department of Environment.
Approval on the plan allows FORCE to proceed with the initial phase of the demonstration project, which is to deploy two turbines in the Minas Passage for research purposes.
The approval was granted following the review by the department staff of the Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan, and consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Margaret Miller, Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister, said: “We are satisfied that the proposed plan, together with the monitoring and study improvements as we have directed, will help address information gaps and improve our understanding of the interaction between the two turbines and marine life in this unique environment.
“If we are to advance our collective knowledge of the turbines’ impact on our fish and marine mammals, demonstration turbines need to be in the water.”
Furthermore, for the deployment of more turbines a new monitoring program is required and must be accepted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Department of Environment.
Also, FORCE must develop programs aimed at enhancing marine mammal monitoring and providing more details on contingency planning in the event of equipment failure, data deficiency, or loss of data, Nova Scotia’s government informed.
To remind, the joint venture created by Emera and OpenHydro, Cape Sharp Tidal had halted the deployment plans of the first OpenHydro turbine to conduct more consultations with the local fishermen association that complained about the potential impacts of the turbines on the fish and Bay of Fundy’s ecosystem.