Where should the tidal turbines go in Grand Passage?

Fundy Tidal looking for public input on Digby County tidal projects

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on May 2, 2014

Fundy Tidal is looking for public feedback about where to set up turbines in Grand Passage; that feedback can be provided via a questionnaire by email or regular mail and at a public information discussion session in Freeport on May 18.

Fundy Tidal is looking for public input on where they should set up tidal turbines in Grand Passage.

They are hoping to select a study area to be the focus for activities this summer, fall, and next winter, leading to deployment of a turbine in early 2015.

Fundy Tidal has planned a one-year demonstration with a turbine from Clean Current, with deployment scheduled for spring 2015.

The Clean Current turbine is 3.5 metres in diameter and has a rated power of 65 kW. The turbine would supply approximately 130,000 kWh of energy annually, which is enough to power approximately six to eight homes.

Fundy Tidal will select turbine locations based on community input, flow speeds, depth, seabed, waves, marine life, fishing zones, and acceptable infringement on navigation.

Fundy Tidal is currently assessing sites working in collaboration with Dalhousie University, Acadia University, University of New Brunswick, Dynamic Systems Analysis, and Clean Current Power Systems.

Fundy Tidal is studying five areas in Grand Passage where a turbine or turbines could be deployed.

Based on technical considerations, the study area known as GP-3, located in the middle of the widest part of the passage, is currently the preferred location for demonstrating and testing the Clean Current turbine.

However, Fundy Tidal says continued assessment, including community input, could lead to development in other study areas.

Any study area selected for further investigation will require detailed assessment of tidal flow and seabed conditions, monitoring environmental conditions, and environmental assessment.

The study areas are large compared to the footprint of an actual development.

One possibility is a 10 x 15 meter floating platform, surrounded by a 50 x 55 meter no navigation zone (green box) to allow safe clearance of the mooring lines.

The design will require site-specific refinement, and is intended to provide a sense of scale for the impact of a floating turbine platform in Grand Passage. Submerged designs that would pose minimal, or no, infringement on navigation are also being considered.

Fundy Tidal is looking for public input on the study areas, including preferred locations assuming both floating and submerged designs.

Specific focus on the potential for a floating platform in GP-3 would be appreciated, and feedback on all study areas is valued.

A questionnaire intended to assist in providing input is available for download at www.fundytidal.com/community/input.

Hard copies of the questionnaire and this notice have been posted at several businesses and public service buildings throughout the Islands, with additional copies available to take home. This notice has also been posted to the "Islanders" and "Brier Island" Facebook groups.

Feedback can be provided by email to community@fundytidal.com, mail to Box 1209, Westport, Nova Scotia, Canada B0V 1H0.

Fundy Tidal will also hold a public information and discussion session in Freeport on Sunday, May 18 following the Fireman's Breakfast.

Fundy Tidal will hold similar community engagement activities for the Digby Gut and Petit Passage projects as they progress.

For further information on Fundy Tidal please visit www.fundytidal.com.