Nova Scotia will soon play a leadership role in a clean energy project that will harness renewable energy from the Bay of Fundy, via demonstration of Tidal In-Stream Energy Convertors in the Minas Passage. The project is Canada's first deployment of commercial-scale turbines to harness renewable energy from sea tides.

Support of up to $20 million for the project through the Clean Energy Fund was announced today by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, who was joined for the occasion by the Honourable Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, and John Woods, Chairman of Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE).

Upon announcing the project funding, Minister MacKay stated "Investments in clean energy projects like this one will help ensure Nova Scotia plays a key role in securing Canada's position as a clean energy superpower [...] our Government is supporting this tidal project, and others like it, to encourage clean energy innovation and help create high-quality jobs for Nova Scotians."

Clearly positioning the province of Nova Scotia in the clean energy revolution, premier Dexter declared "We are establishing ourselves as a leader in tidal energy. We have aggressive renewable targets, feed-in tariffs, clear regulations and an incredible natural resource with the largest transmission capacity in the world."

The first of its kind in the country, the project will investigate how four submarine cables function, including their reliability to deliver electricity to Nova Scotia's power system and the operational functions of the equipment that is connected to the submarine. The information gathered will be analyzed and used to enhance future research for tidal energy and energy regulations. The four cables will give FORCE the largest offshore transmission capacity of any in-stream tidal energy site in the world, with the potential capacity to power over 20,000 homes.

Research from California-based Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) identifies the Bay of Fundy as one of the best potential sites in North America for tidal power generation, with a world-class resource close to an existing electricity grid. In the Minas Passage alone, EPRI estimated a nearly 300 megawatt potential (equal to enough power for about 100,000 homes) and several other estimates put the resource potential much higher.

Of the project and technology, FORCE Chairman John Woods said "FORCE applauds the government's vision and commitment to an energy future where clean technology can play a role [...] by 2011, any tidal device installed at FORCE will be able to deliver power directly to the grid. The size of the cable also gives us room for significant growth, if tidal technology proves to be both safe and viable in the Bay of Fundy."

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Clean Energy Fund is investing $795 million over five years in clean energy technology development and demonstration. The Government of Canada is supporting nearly 20 projects under the renewable and clean energy portion of the Clean Energy Fund, totalling up to $146 million. Three carbon capture and storage projects have also been announced, totalling $466 million from the fund.