The Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) has a mandate to enable sustainable development of Nova Scotia’s energy resources by facilitating and funding collaborative research and development. It has supported numerous tidal energy R&D projects over the years and is now leading the Pathway Program in collaboration with the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) with funding from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines (DEM). The Pathway Program is a coordinated R&D program that will define, test, and validate environmental effects monitoring (EEM) solutions for the instream tidal energy industry to meet regulatory requirements. The program will increase the understanding of environmental impacts from instream tidal energy projects in the Bay of Fundy and improve the understanding of fish and marine mammal interaction with instream tidal energy devices. The program will also improve data processing and analyses, so that results can be reported to regulators and disseminated to the public in a timely manner.
The main objectives of the program are to:
- define a Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) approved solution for the tidal energy industry,
- apply machine learning to data analysis to reduce reporting time and compliance costs,
- minimize initial capital costs to developers,
- develop regional capability to manage, process, analyze and report EEM data, and
- develop intellectual property that regional companies can exploit commercially in multiple marine industries, both regionally and globally.
To conduct this program successfully, OERA and FORCE are assessing different types of monitoring technology that can gather robust data to inform regulatory requirements. To complete this assessment, OERA and FORCE are consulting with experts through a series of workshops to gather information on the effectiveness of different technology in high-flow environments to collect the required monitoring data.
The third workshop under the Pathway Program was focused on “Passive acoustic monitoring in high flow environments” and was the first international workshop within the program. The Pathway Program contracted the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to facilitate the workshop development, delivery, and information-gathering. This report summarizes the outcomes of the workshop discussion and any insights gathered during the workshop that will support the successful delivery of the Pathway Program. The workshop was held as a virtual workshop on April 30, 2020.