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.
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 Centre for Energy (FORCE) near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.
With support from its marine operations partner, Atlantic Towing Ltd., Cape Sharp Tidal deployed 300 metres of power and fibre-optic data cable from a specially-outfitted barge. Teams also recovered and lifted the existing 16MW 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, designed by OpenHydro, a DCNS Company, built by Aecon Group in Pictou, took its maiden test voyage around the Pictou Harbour on the weekend. The unique, catamaran style vessel is the largest heavy lift capacity barge in Atlantic Canada. The 64-metre long, 37-metre wide, 650-tonne barge has a 1,150-tonne carrying capacity. Purpose-built for deployment and recovery operations, The 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 Harbour to the FORCE test site in Parrsboro next spring.
Cape Sharp Tidal’s other significant project milestones include:
- Manufacturing and assembly of turbine #1 expected to be complete by the end of the year
- 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 analyse 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.