Faulty bit on OpenHydro turbine further delays Fundy project

OpenHydro tidal turbine (Photo: Cape Sharp Tidal)

Cape Sharp Tidal project in the Bay of Fundy has faced another setback with the identification of a malfunctioning part on OpenHydro’s tidal turbines.

Cape Sharp Tidal, a joint venture created by OpenHydro and Emera, revealed that a problem with metal properties of a fastening component in OpenHydro’s open-centre turbines has been identified.

The issue was traced back to supplier of the component, and last week, laboratory testing confirmed the risk exists with the long term durability of the component, Cape Sharp Tidal said.

While considered a minor element of the overall system, the components are used to secure part of the turbine generator in position, and could fail prematurely if not replaced.

Since the long-term performance and reliability are key priorities for the project, Cape Sharp Tidal said, the decision has been made to replace the components in the turbines.

“Of key importance is that this is not an issue with the turbine design, rather a matter of incorrectly supplied components. Part of the purpose of this demonstration phase is to identify all potential issues, and OpenHydro is taking the appropriate steps to remedy the issue,” Cape Sharp Tidal said.

The component is inside the turbine so the rotor must be removed to gain access. Last week, work began in Pictou on the second turbine as it is already in a horizontal position.

OpenHydro is currently considering options for replacing the components in the first turbine.

“Cape Sharp Tidal is not yet in a position to provide an update on deployment timelines as it is dependent on remedying the situation,” the company informed.

As reported earlier, Cape Sharp Tidal had halted the deployment plans of the first OpenHydro turbine to conduct more consultations with the local fishermen on the potential impacts of the turbines on the fish and Bay of Fundy’s ecosystem.

Cape Sharp Tidal plans to install two 2MW OpenHydro tidal turbines to form an array. Each turbine is 16m in diameter and 20m in height, with the weight of 1,000 tonnes, and once installed they’re expected to power 1,000 homes.

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