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Friday, March 04, 2005

Tidal Power in Canada


Canada will soon have its first tidal power generator as reported in
Project tests Race Rocks' tidal power
, Rick Stiebel, Goldstream News Gazette, (3/2/05). The article describes that:
Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, Encana Corporation and Clean Current Power Systems announced an innovative partnership Friday to build a free-stream tidal power generator, the first of its kind in Canada, at the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
The project, made possible by a $3 million investment from Encana's Environmental Innovation Fund, involves replacing two diesel-powered generators at Race Rocks that supply power for Pearson's marine education centre with a tidal turbine generator, built by Clean Current Wind Systems.
The remaining funding for the $4 million project is expected to come from private investors and the federal government.
The generator is scheduled to begin producing power by 2006.
The turbine generator has only one moving part, the rotor assembly that contains permanent magnets. The turbine, anchored to the ocean floor in about 15 metres of water, operates like an underwater windmill with cables that carry away the energy it produces.

What stood out to me most about this project is that the generator is scheduled to come online within a year. Try that trick in the United States where onerous permitting requirements create obstacles to bringing even prototype or research projects online. It's one thing to lose the quest to be first or second to site a tidal project because of inferior technology. It's quite another when bureaucracy stands in the way.

4 Comments:

  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger mkogrady said…

    I reviewed the EnCana project and website with great interest and have come to the conclusion that the US better start taking notes and developing ideas of our own, otherwise we'll be at the end of our rope when cheap fuels are gone. The time to do this type of R&D and Pilot Testing is while our fuel supplies are in reasonable supply and modest cost.

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger mkogrady said…

    PS - EnCana's publicly traded @ ECA

     
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