Events of 2010

Darrell Dexter

Darrell Dexter predicts tidal power in 2011

2010

Feb. 2010: Premier Dexter promotes tidal power in Washington at a meeting of U.S. governors and Canadian premiers. “We want to be a world leader in tidal technology,” Dexter says.

Feb. 2010: The Herald reports that Minas Basin Pulp and Power and MCT of Bristol, England plan to install a turbine in the Minas Passage in 2011, a year later than hoped. Another prototype planned by Clean Current, now in partnership with the French company Alstom, is scheduled to go into the water in 2011. Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro of Ireland put a turbine in the water in 2009, but it isn’t connected to the grid yet.

March 2010: The Herald reports that OpenHydro lost contact with sensors on its turbine in the Minas Passage only seven days after it was put in the water in November 2009. The sensors were supposed to collect data about the potential for electrical generation. Divers can’t fix the problem because of strong currents and murky waters.

June 2010: Nova Scotia Power announces two large blades, made from blends of plastic and glass, have broken off the underwater turbine deployed by NSP and Irish partner OpenHydro in November 2009. The turbine will have to be pulled from the water a year earlier than scheduled. Peter Corcoran of OpenHydro tells reporters, “The Bay of Fundy is one of the world’s best tidal sites and I guess the world’s best tidal sites don’t come easy.” Nova Scotia Power says it hopes the turbine can be repaired and put back in the water for further testing.

Nov. 2010: Premier Dexter says tidal power could be flowing into Nova Scotia homes as early as the end of 2011. He makes the comment after announcing $20 million in funding from the federal government for the Fundy tidal project and the $11 million purchase of four subsea electrical cables that will connect turbines to the grid. The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy has signed a contract for production and installation of the cables with IT International Telecom Inc. The cables total 11 kilometres in length.

Nov. 2010: First attempt to lift the OpenHydro turbine from the Minas Passage fails as workers run out of time and the tide starts coming back in.

Dec. 2010: Turbine finally recovered. All 12 of the turbine rotor blades had been destroyed by the tides. It emerges later that the destruction had happened within the first 20 days of deployment. Because of bad weather, the turbine is taken to Saint John where it will remain until conditions improve enough to move it to Cherubini Metal Works in Dartmouth where it will undergo a forensic analysis to determine why the blades broke off.

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