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article imageNova Scotia Approves Fundy Tidal Power Project Special

By Kevin Jess     Sep 15, 2009 in World
A Fundy tidal power demonstration project will now be a reality thanks to today's approval by the Nova Scotia government.
The demonstration project is aimed at testing the commercial viability of tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy.
Nova Scotia depends heavily on coal to generate electricity and wants 25 percent of its energy to come from renewable resources by 2020.
Around 100 billion tonnes of water flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy four times per day. It has the distinction of the world's highest tides and is considered a natural wonder, reported Digital Journal.
The project is subject to conditions aimed at protecting the environment reports the Chronicle Herald.
Some marine biologists believe that the turbines that generate the electricity would hurt and kill marine life in the area which could be devastating to the local fishery.
One of the conditions requires the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy to develop an environmental effects monitoring program says Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau.
An advisory committee on environmental effects will also be established.
One device will go in as early as next month, Geddes estimates.
Peter Geddes, environmental assessment officer for the Nova Scotia Dept. of Environment, said the project will be testing three separate technologies, which will be installed and tested by several companies.
The companies involved are Minas Basin Pulp and Power in partnership with Marine Current Turbines, Nova Scotia Power Corp. in partnership with Open Hydro, and Clean Current Turbines.
The testing period will be for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years. During that time, depending on the environmental and other data taken, it will be determined whether to "abandon the technology or to apply it commercially," said Geddes.
Mr. Geddes said, "There is a lot to be learned from this project, taking into account fish and mammals that either live in or migrate to the area. We also have a lot to learn about the sedimentation deposits that could have an impact on the turbines."
"We want to know if turbines moves sediment around or deposits it in places where they don't normally occur," Geddes said. The impact on fish will be closely monitored, such as lobster, herring and Atlantic salmon, he added.
The companies involved could have the turbines in the water this fall with others installing in the spring of 2010.
David Rodenhizer, NSPower spokesperson said, they expect to have their device in the water by "the latter part of October."
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