Jan. 2008: Premier Rodney MacDonald announces the province has approved a $12 million tidal demonstration project in the Bay of Fundy. Three companies are chosen to install test turbines: Minas Basin Pulp and Power based in Hantsport and its partner UEK Hydrokinetic Turbine of Maryland; Nova Scotia Power and its partner OpenHydro Turbine of Ireland; and Clean Current Power Systems Inc. of British Columbia. The $12 million needed to build the test facility will come from various partners: $5 million from the province, a $3 million interest-free loan from Encana Corp. of Calgary and $4 million from the companies planning to install the turbines.
Jan. 2008: An environmental consultant’s report, jointly paid for by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, recommends a “cautionary and staged approach” to development of tidal power in the Bay of Fundy because of unknown environmental effects. The firm, Jacques Whitford, calls for a small number of pilot projects with significant environmental monitoring.
Sept. 2008: Oceans Ltd., an ocean research company, announces it has found the ideal site for three test turbines near Black Rock, west of Parrsboro. The search was commissioned by Minas Basin Pulp and Power which had been awarded a $14 million contract by the province to build a common test site for the three competing tidal projects. Simon Melrose, who runs Oceans Ltd. operations in Nova Scotia, says tides at the site flow in a straight line instead of swirling in various directions. However, he says $100,000 worth of the company’s tidal monitoring equipment was destroyed during the search and the currents at the Black Rock site may be too strong. Melrose calls the preferred site a provisional one.