The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE; the Proponent) will construct, operate and decommission a Tidal Energy Demonstration Facility in the Minas Passage, near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia (Figure 1-1).
The Project consists of multiple subsea turbine generators, subsea cables connecting the turbines to land-based infrastructure, an onshore transformer substation, and power lines connecting to the local power distribution system. The Project was assessed under a joint federal – provincial Environmental Assessment (EA) review process and was subject to federal and provincial environmental approval in accordance with the following legislation:
- Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA): pursuant to Section 5(1)(d) of CEAA, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Transport Canada (TC) were required to issue permits to enable the Project to proceed; and
- Environmental Assessment Regulations: pursuant to Schedule A of the provincial regulations under the Environment Act, registration as a Class 1 Undertaking was required.
The Project received EA approval on September 15, 2009. The Proponent, as part of the EA approval for the Project, was required to meet Terms and Conditions, provided by Nova Scotia Environment (NSE). The Terms and Conditions for EA Approval are included in Appendix A of this EA Addendum Report. Since the Project was approved, construction began with installation of the first turbine on November 12, 2009 by Nova Scotia Power Inc., and commencement of land-based facilities in February 2010.
In January 2010, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) awarded funding for the Project through the federal Clean Energy Fund (CEF) Program. In accordance to Section 5(1)(b) of the CEAA, NRCan is required to conduct a screening level environmental assessment of the Project prior to releasing funds. It is understood that the scope of NRCan‘s assessment will include all aspects of the Project as proposed, including those aspects approved in September 2009. Furthermore, it is understood that NRCan will prepare an Environmental Screening Report based on the original environmental assessment, plus new information gathered in the Project area since 2009.
As a result of negotiations with landowners, the location of the landfall and land-based facilities has changed from what was originally proposed and approved in the Environmental Assessment Registration Document – Fundy Tidal Energy Demonstration Project (AECOM 2009). Subsequently, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy asked FORCE to develop a fourth subsea grid connected berth within the approved Crown Lease area. This EA Addendum Report has been prepared to support NRCan‘s environmental assessment process, describe the changes to the Project, and assesses any potential environmental effects that may arise as a result of the changes. The Province of Nova Scotia was advised of the location changes in a letter to Mr. Peter Geddes of Nova Scotia Environment, dated February 5, 2010, and was advised of the Department of Energy‘s request for a fourth berth in a letter to Mr. Peter Geddes dated July 7, 2010. A copy of relevant correspondence is provided in Appendix B. The combined total production rating of the four turbines will remain below 5.0 MW, the limit for a Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Screening Level EA.
In addition to describing and assessing changes to the Project, this EA Addendum Report also summarizes the supplementary baseline studies that have been conducted since the September 2009 approval. The additional studies are appended to this report.
This EA Addendum Report is organized to describe the changes to the Project and to reflect the process by which the assessment of the changes has been conducted. This report does not include a discussion or assessment of the proposed Parrsboro Power Transmission Line Project as the study is still underway and it will be filed separately later this summer.
- Section 1.0 introduces the Project, provides a brief history, and describes the need for the EA Addendum Report.
- Section 2.0 describes the changes to the Project from what was originally proposed and approved including changes to location, components, activities, emissions and discharges and potential malfunctions and accidental events, as appropriate.
- Section 3.0 describes the existing terrestrial, marine and socio-economic characteristics of the new location for the landfall and land-based facilities.
- Section 4 .0 provides the results of the environmental effects assessment for the valued environmental components (VECs) affected by the Project changes.
- A summary of the EA Addendum Report and conclusions are presented in Section 5 .0.
- A summary of additional / post-EA studies is provided in Section 6.0 and a copy of the studies are appended to this Report.
- Section 7 .0 details literature and personal communications cited in the report.
Given that changes to the Project are limited to the addition of a fourth berth and cable and moving the location of landfall 200 m east of the original site, re-assessment of cumulative environmental effects and effects of the environment on the Project is not warranted.