Court backs Cape Sharp tidal installation

Cape Sharp Tidal turbine (Photo: Cape Sharp Tidal)

Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has dismissed the application filed by the local fishermen group to review the decision by Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister, Margaret Miller, to approve the installation of tidal turbines in the Bay of Fundy.

The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association (BFIFA) challenged Miller’s decision to approve the monitoring program for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), which resulted in the installation of the first demonstration tidal turbine by Cape Sharp Tidal in the Bay of Fundy.

In February 2017 court hearing, BFIFA argued that the Nova Scotia Department of Environment overlooked various environmental protection measures while reviewing and approving the environmental monitoring program for FORCE and Cape Sharp Tidal.

On April 6, 2017, Justice Heather Robertson dismissed BFIFA’s bid to overturn Minister’s decision, stating: “It appears to me that from the Environmental Assessment approval of 2009, extraordinary efforts have been made to evaluate risk. This is the essence of the adaptive management approach and Environmental Effects Monitoring Program process.

“The fact is this is a demonstration project to explore tidal power electrical generation in a climate of significant public interest in diminishing our province’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“The project has not been undertaken lightly and follows rigorous ongoing evaluation. The Minister of the Environment is entitled to the deference of this court, in making these very reasonable decisions.”

To remind, Cape Sharp Tidal installed the first 2MW turbine in November 2016. On April 6, Cape Sharp Tidal, a joint venture between Emera and Open Hydro, said it plans to retrieve the turbine to make modifications to some of its component.

The redeployment is expected to take place this month, while another 2MW turbine is planned for deployment later this year.

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