The Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) is Canada’s leading research centre for the demonstration and evaluation of in-stream tidal energy devices. The technology is part of an emerging sector designed to generate electricity from the ebb and flow of the tides that is being explored in countries throughout the world.
FORCE was established in 2009 after undergoing a joint federal-provincial environmental assessment with the mandate to enable the testing and demonstration of these devices. Since that time, more than 100 related research studies have been completed or are underway with funding from FORCE, the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia, and others. These studies have considered socio-economics, biological, and other research areas.
The latest monitoring programs at the FORCE site were initiated in 2016 in anticipation of turbine deployments by one of FORCE’s ‘berth holders’, Cape Sharp Tidal Venture (CSTV) in 2016. These efforts are divided into two components: mid-field (i.e., 100 m or greater from a turbine) monitoring activities led by FORCE, and near-field (i.e., less than 100 m from a turbine) or ‘turbine-specific’ monitoring led by individual tidal energy developers or ‘berth holders’ at the FORCE site. All plans are reviewed by FORCE’s independent Environmental Monitoring Advisory Committee and federal and provincial regulators prior to implementation.
Mid-field monitoring at the FORCE site presently consists of monitoring for fish, marine mammals, seabirds, lobster, and marine sound. Since the commencement of this latest monitoring effort in 2016, FORCE has completed:
• ~408 hours of hydroacoustic fish surveys;
• more than 2,600 ‘C-POD’ marine mammal monitoring days;
• bi-weekly shoreline observations;
• 42 observational seabird surveys;
• four drifting marine sound surveys and additional sound monitoring; and
• 11 days of lobster surveys.
In July 2018, CSTV installed a two-megawatt OpenHydro turbine at ‘Berth D’ of the FORCE site. Due to the insolvency of OpenHydro, announced four days after turbine installation, the approved near-field monitoring program and contingency monitoring program for this turbine could not be initiated. Efforts were taken to monitor the turbine in the interim, with a focus on fish and marine mammals, until the turbine was re-energized on September 4th, 2018. At that time, it was confirmed that the turbine’s rotor was not turning, and the turbine-mounted monitoring sensors were re-energized (with the exception of one non-functioning hydrophone).
As a result of the status of the turbine’s rotor, the monitoring requirements and reporting timelines approved as part of CSTV’s authorization from Fisheries and Oceans Canada were subsequently modified to monthly confirmation of the turbine rotor’s status. This is done through data collected from turbine-mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers during peak 2 tidal flow. Data from other operating turbine-mounted sensors are being used by FORCE and its partners to inform research objectives.
Further information regarding the turbine’s status, CSTV project updates, and contingency monitoring efforts, is included in this report and Appendix 1.
This Annual Report provides a summary of monitoring activities and data analysis completed at the FORCE site throughout 2018. In addition, it also highlights findings from international research efforts, previous data collection periods at the FORCE site, and additional research work of FORCE and its partners. This includes supporting fish tagging efforts with Acadia University and the Ocean Tracking Network, radar research projects, and subsea instrumentation platform deployments through the Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) Program. Finally, the report presents details regarding future research and monitoring efforts at the FORCE test site.
All reports, including quarterly monitoring summaries, are available online at www.fundyforce.ca/environment.