Cape Sharp Tidal exports first power to Nova Scotia grid

OpenHydro 2MW turbine during deployment (Photo: Cape Sharp Tidal)

Cape Sharp Tidal has connected North America’s most powerful tidal turbine, an OpenHydro 2MW, to Nova Scotia’s power grid.

The first, out of two planned turbines for the project, is now producing enough energy to power 500 Nova Scotia homes.

The entire turbine system, including all monitors and communications links, is being thoroughly tested, prior to being fully commissioned in a number of weeks, Cape Sharp Tidal informed.

The electrical conversion system has been validated by the Canadian Standards Association which ensures the open-center turbine power export is compliant with the Canadian grid.

Michel Samson, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy, said: “This is a proud, and historic moment in Nova Scotia’s global leadership in the responsible development of a new and renewable energy source. As we make the first in-stream tidal energy connection to the Canadian grid, we are ushering in a new era in marine renewable energy and taking an unprecedented step toward a lower carbon future.”

A joint venture between Emera and OpenHydro, Cape Sharp Tidal, deployed the turbine at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) site in the Bay of Fundy on November 7.

Twenty-four hours after deployment, the project’s marine operations team connected the turbine’s subsea cable with the FORCE subsea cable, which connects to the onshore substation.

Thierry Kalanquin, Chairman of OpenHydro and Senior Vice President, Energy and Marine Infrastructure at DCNS, said: “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.”

The second turbine is planned for deployment in 2017, and according to Cape Sharp Tidal, the completed 4MW demonstration project will displace the need to burn about 2,000 tonnes of coal, and eliminate 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) Co2 emissions.

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