OERA recaps Bay of Fundy tidal energy research

Illustration/Bay of Fundy (Photo: OERA)
Illustration/Bay of Fundy (Photo: OERA)

Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) has released a new report summarizing the tidal energy related research undertaken in the Bay of Fundy since 2007.

‘Nova Scotia Tidal Research Summary Report’, authored by Graham Daborn of Fundy Environmental & Educational Consultants, offers a high level assessment of the environmental studies and regulatory initiatives that have been conducted ahead of the first grid-connected technology demonstration scheduled for 2016.

Commissioned by the Province of Nova Scotia through OERA, the report focuses on important research activity and findings on the marine environment and highlights the significance of the results in light of current tidal turbine deployment plans.

Daborn said: “The research accomplishments that have led us here are substantial and have resulted in the creation of innovative approaches to unique challenges – a story that needs to be told. The story continues, however, now that turbines are to be deployed in Nova Scotia waters for prolonged testing periods, because some of the remaining environmental questions can now be addressed.”

The report also underlines past, ongoing and future work necessary to ensure that any larger-scale development happens responsibly, including a collaborative strategic research plan to further examine:

  • Behavioural responses of fish, birds and mammals to turbines (and turbine noise), and the potential effects on their populations
  • Encounter and risk prediction models for fish, birds and mammals
  • Potential effects on fisheries, especially for lobster and schooling migratory species
  • Assessing the potential for acoustic deterrents
  • A data management system to share the large and varied data being collected by multiple parties
  • Improving the durability of both turbine technology and monitoring equipment in extreme high flows

Stephen Dempsey, Executive Director of the OERA, added: “The tidal energy sector has numerous opportunities for both clean energy and ocean sector economic activity. We’re committed to ensuring the industry moves forward in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.”

OERA is an independent, non-profit organization that funds and facilitates collaborative offshore energy and environmental research with the aim to enable the sustainable development of Nova Scotia energy resources.

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