Cape Sharp’s tidal turbine, recovered from the Minas Passage on June 15, is still undergoing repairs and upgrades in the harbour at Saint John, N.B. and the company can’t say when it might be re-deployed at its testing site west of Parrsboro.
“Since the recovery of the Cape Sharp Tidal turbine, we have been taking the time needed to perform a detailed evaluation of the unit in port,” Stacey Pineau, who speaks for the company, wrote in an e-mail.
She added that the exterior of the turbine is in good condition, but it appears the strong currents in the Minas Passage detached 10, three-foot-long anodes from the turbine’s rotor. Anodes are made of metals that help prevent corrosion.
“Assessing and modifying the positions of the anodes on the turbine is one area we had planned to investigate as part of the retrieval of this unit,” Pineau added.
The company says it is also upgrading electrical components in the Turbine Control Centre, which converts raw power from the generator into the alternating current that is compatible with the Nova Scotia Power grid. In addition, the TCC sends operational and environmental sensor data to shore through a sub-sea cable.
Pineau said Cape Sharp’s second turbine is also undergoing modifications in Saint John, and the company can’t say when it might be deployed.
Meantime, in its first community newsletter published today, Cape Sharp is upbeat about the potential for harnessing the world’s highest tides, but does not dwell on problems that have affected the project.
For example, in its first seven weeks of operation, Cape Sharp sold only $2,862 worth of electricity to Nova Scotia Power with the turbine generating 5.4 megawatt hours of power. (See: Minas Passage tidal power off to bumpy start, figures show.)
And, it took the company about two months to recover its turbine from the Minas Passage after discovering that it had become entangled in a mooring line.
Fishermen complained that the recovery operation disrupted their lobster season.
They also pointed out that the company had assured a Nova Scotia judge that the turbine could be raised during the 12-hour course of a single tidal cycle if it were found to be causing environmental problems.