Efforts to understand the potential of tidal energy to play a role in Nova Scotia’s clean energy future have taken another step forward with the appointment of new board directors to the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), as well as the launch of new live site data from the Minas Passage as part of an updated FORCE website.
“Tidal stream energy holds enormous potential to help us address climate change and become a cleaner energy province,” said FORCE general manager Tony Wright. “Tidal devices are still a new technology in the Bay of Fundy; getting this right will take sound leadership. That’s why I’m honoured to announce the appointment of several new directors to our board: Dr. Kes Morton, Cheryl Stewart-Walsh, Ray Hickey, and Doug Keefe – their involvement will be a real asset to FORCE.”
“Nova Scotia continues to be a leader in developing tidal energy technology, and that gives us a tremendous opportunity to grow the green economy and create jobs in rural areas of the province,” said Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. “We need smart, dedicated people like this to make sure we stay at the forefront of this rapidly evolving industry.”
Dr. Kes Morton is a scientist and founder of Pisces Research Project Management Inc. Dr. Morton has over 15 years of research and management experience in industry, academia, and government; this includes work as a senior project manager at the Ocean Tracking Network, where she coordinated project teams in 20 countries totalling over 450 scientists, and an aquatic science biologist at St. Andrews Biological Station for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Dr. Morton’s credentials include a PhD in Marine Ecology from Memorial University, Project Management Professional certification, and a Certificate in Financial Management from Saint Mary’s University.
Cheryl Stewart-Walsh currently serves as Atlantic Director of Innovative Medicines Canada, representing national and global companies involved in the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Ms. Stewart-Walsh’s career also includes serving as Associate Vice President of Advancement at Mount Saint Vincent University and as Campaign Director and Principal Advisor for Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax. She has also worked in several federal government capacities, including as Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada. Locally, she has served as Director of Policy and Planning at Nova Scotia Business Inc., and as the Provincial Manager of Entrepreneurship at the Nova Scotia Community College. She holds a Master’s Degree in Pubic Policy and Administration from Carleton University and a Political Science Degree from Dalhousie University.
Raymond Hickey is the Executive Director for the Cumberland Energy Authority (CEA); the CEA’s primary mission is to support renewable energy growth within Cumberland County. In this role, Mr. Hickey works to promote the development of tidal, solar, wind and geothermal energy as well as lead the County’s initiatives in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. Prior to this role, Mr. Hickey served as Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Parrsboro. In both roles, Ray has been engaged in the evolution of FORCE for nearly 10 years. He holds Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Dalhousie University.
Doug Keefe, QC, is well known in the tidal energy sector, serving as FORCE’s first executive director and chair of Marine Renewables Canada. Prior to FORCE, Doug was Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General for the Province of Nova Scotia. He has also worked as a private consultant, with extensive experience in leadership, negotiation, change management, and crisis response. He served on a national panel studying correctional systems in Canada in 2010, and co-chaired the Vancouver Hockey Riot Review in 2011, the Nova Scotia Fuel Shortage Review in 2015, and most recently, chaired the Commission on Effective Representation of Acadian and African Nova Scotians. He is on the Board of Engage Nova Scotia and a firefighter with the Wallace District Volunteer Fire Department.
“We are very pleased to welcome Kes, Cheryl, Ray and Doug to the FORCE board – together they bring expertise in many areas, including science, engagement, financial management and good governance,” said FORCE chair Paul Jamer. “Meeting the challenge of ‘the Fundy standard’ means attracting not only the best technologies, but the best people. Together, we’re working to understand if energy from the world’s highest tides can play a role alongside other renewables in Nova Scotia’s energy future.”
In the last year, FORCE also expanded its team to include ocean technologist Jessica Douglas, operations coordinator Emily Albert, and research scientist Jeremy Locke.
“We’re very fortunate to attract these exceptional individuals to our board and staff,” said Wright. “Working in the Minas Passage is always an exciting challenge, and our team continues to strengthen our role as both host and steward to the FORCE test site. We’re also grateful for the leadership of our outgoing chair Janet MacMillan, who we’re lucky to retain on the board.”