Harnessing the Bay of Fundy: New platform has turbines like a boat's outboard motor

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METEGHAN, N.S. — A large floating platform with six underwater turbines was launched today near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, marking the latest high-tech bid to generate electricity by harnessing the bay's powerful tides.

Dartmouth, N.S.-based Sustainable Marine Energy started testing a smaller but similar catamaran-style platform near Brier Island in 2018.

The bigger, second-generation platform is expected to undergo testing this winter and spring in the same area, known as Grand Passage.

It will be towed later this year to the bay's Minas Passage, where it will be permanently installed in an area that experiences the world's highest tides.

The company describes the 420-kilowatt PLAT-I 6.40 platform as Canada's first floating tidal energy array.

The turbines look like inverted windmills and are designed to flip up for maintenance like a boat's outboard motor.

Sustainable Marine says its Pempa'q In-stream Tidal Energy Project will eventually include two other platforms, which will produce nine megawatts of electricity — enough energy to supply 3,000 homes.

The federal government in November contributed $28.5 million to the project.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press