The following is the text of a news release from Cape Sharp Tidal:
(HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) — Cape Sharp Tidal, a joint venture between Emera and OpenHydro, has completed two significant milestone operations in preparation for the next phase of the tidal energy demonstration project — the installation of its subsea power cable and the launch of its deployment barge.
World-first cable installation
The operation to lay the Cape Sharp Tidal interconnection cable is the first project component to be deployed, and the only system of its kind in the world. The operation was completed during a single tidal cycle, while holding position over Cape Sharp Tidal’s berth site at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.
With support from its marine operations partner, Atlantic Towing Ltd., Cape Sharp Tidal deployed 300 meters of power and fiber-optic data cable from a specially outfitted barge. Teams also recovered and lifted the existing 16-megawatt subsea export cable installed by FORCE, and using an on-deck mating table, linked it to the Cape Sharp’s interconnection hub. The whole system was placed back on the sea floor, where the cables will remain until spring 2016, when the turbines are scheduled for deployment.
The Scotia Tide barge launch
The Scotia Tide barge, designed by OpenHydro, a DCNS company, built by Aecon Group in Pictou, took its maiden test voyage around the Pictou Harbor on the weekend. The unique, catamaran-style vessel is the largest heavy-lift capacity barge in Atlantic Canada. The 64-meter-long, 37-meter-wide, 650-tonne barge has a 1,150-tonne carrying capacity. Purpose-built for deployment and recovery operations, Scotia Tide is equipped with three heavy-lift winches that give it a unique capacity to lower and raise turbines from the sea floor. Cape Sharp Tidal’s 1,000-tonne turbines will be towed from Pictou Harbor to the FORCE test site in Parrsboro next spring.
“Every success of Cape Sharp Tidal manufacturing and operations is an important step toward building a tidal energy sector in Nova Scotia,” said Chris Huskilson, president and CEO of Emera Inc. “The safe and successful cable installation and the made-in-Nova Scotia Scotia Tide barge launch are two of the more significant milestones.”
“Nova Scotians continue to impress with their expertise in ship-building, industrial manufacturing and as experienced marine operators,” said James Ives, OpenHydro’s chief executive. “The barge launch and the cable installation are both Nova Scotia-made solutions that get us one step closer to a successful tidal array in this first demonstration phase of the Cape Sharp Tidal project.”
Cape Sharp Tidal’s other significant project milestones include:
• Invested $33 million in the Nova Scotia supply chain and business to spark tidal industry growth;
• Manufacturing and assembly of turbine No. 1 expected to be complete by the end of the year;
• Building capacity in the local work force with more than 250 people working on the Cape Sharp Tidal project;
• Established a robust environmental effects monitoring program to demonstrate tidal is a safe and sustainable energy source;
• Engaging local communities around the Bay of Fundy to earn public support for the project;
• Collaborating with local and international research partnerships to track, monitor and analyze post-deployment data.
Cape Sharp Tidal plans to install two 2-megawatt in-stream tidal turbines in 2016, North America’s first commercial scale grid-connected tidal array. It will be the first developer to demonstrate its technology at the FORCE test site. The project is the first step toward demonstrating that in-stream tidal energy development is an opportunity for Nova Scotia and Canada to establish a thriving tidal industry and be a global leader in an emerging market.
About Cape Sharp Tidal
Cape Sharp Tidal is a joint venture between Emera Inc. and OpenHydro, a DCNS company, with the objective of deploying a fully grid connected 4 MW tidal array in the Bay of Fundy in 2015. This project has the potential to be one of the world’s first multi-megawatt arrays of interconnected tidal turbines, providing energy to over 1,000 customers in Nova Scotia. More information about the project can be found at capesharptidal.com.