The Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) is Canada’s leading research centre for the demonstration and evaluation of tidal in-stream energy conversion (TISEC) technology. This technology (commonly known as “in-stream tidal turbines”) is part of an emerging sector designed to generate electricity from the ebb and flow of the tide. It also has application in river systems and has the potential to introduce another non-carbon emitting source of electricity to the Nova Scotia electrical grid.
The first demonstration in-stream tidal energy turbine was operational at the FORCE site for a short time in 2009 and removed in 2010. There were no turbines present at FORCE until Cape Sharp Tidal Venture (CSTV) deployed a two-megawatt demonstration turbine in November 2016 and began a commissioning process. In April 2017, CSTV announced the turbine would be disconnected for temporary retrieval; on June 15th , the turbine was retrieved and moved to Saint John, New Brunswick shortly thereafter.
Environmental effects monitoring programs (EEMPs) began at FORCE 2009; to-date, over 90 tidal-related research studies have been completed or are underway with funding from FORCE and the Offshore Energy Research Association.
In 2016/2017, EEMP work is being conducted with academic and research partners, including the University of Maine, the Sea Mammal Research Unit Consulting (Canada), Envirosphere Consultants, Acadia University, Luna Ocean Consulting, JASCO Applied Scientists, Ocean Sonics, and Nexus Coastal Resource Management.
The following document is a 2017 summary of mid-field monitoring work at the FORCE site that has taken place this year. The 2017 EEM Program has completed approximately: 11 days of lobster surveys using 48 traps, ~ 130 hours of hydro-acoustic fish surveys, 334 days of C-POD data collection resulting in >1,300 ‘C-POD days,’ 16 seabird surveys, bi-weekly beach surveys, and four marine noise surveys. At the start of 2017, monitoring activities took place in relation to an operational turbine and continued throughout 2017 in the absence of a deployed instream tidal turbine. Monitoring is scheduled to continue into 2018. Year 1 reports on fish, marine mammals, and seabirds have undergone review by FORCE’s environmental monitoring advisory committee (EMAC)2 and are included as appendices to this report.