All systems are a go when it comes to environmental monitoring of the Cape Sharp Tidal turbine in the Minas Passage, says Emera.
“All environmental monitoring devices required for regulatory compliance are working and transferring data to shore,” said Emera spokesperson Stacey Pineau in an email.
“This includes three hydrophones, one sonar and three acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCPs). In addition, a video camera pointing at the rotor is also operational. Verification of the data is underway.”
A Fundy advanced sensor technology (FAST) platform has also been deployed by the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) at the request of Cape Sharp Tidal, said Pineau, with data being collected by the hydrophones it carries.
“In addition, an acoustic recorder (AMAR) was deployed at the end of June before placement of the turbine. This remains at the berth and will provide data that can compare sound effects prior to the turbine placement and after it is commissioned.”
Emera announced in August it was withdrawing its involvement in Cape Sharp Tidal. The decision followed the surprise application by Naval Energies to Ireland’s High Court on July 26 requesting the liquidation of OpenHydro, the majority stakeholder in the Cape Sharp Tidal project.
Naval Energies’ subsequent statement that it will no longer support or invest in tidal turbines “left Emera with no practical choice but to withdraw” from the project, stated a press release.
“While Emera remains a shareholder of Cape Sharp Tidal, we will continue to work closely with the Cape Sharp Tidal team, OpenHydro Technology Canada, Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment and Department of Energy and Mines and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to ensure environmental monitoring and operational control of the turbine,” said Pineau.
“Since OpenHydro’s legal process started in Ireland on July 26, Emera, the Cape Sharp Tidal team and OpenHydro Technology Canada have continually stressed with the provisional liquidators the need for ongoing compliance and control of the turbine. Even though Emera has started the process of withdrawing from the Cape Sharp Tidal partnership, our continued reinforcement of that message has not changed. The future of OpenHydro will be determined by the High Court of Ireland, but as this process continues, Emera will continue to work with the Cape Sharp Tidal team, OpenHydro Technology Canada and various regulators.”
With environmental monitoring of the Cape Sharp turbine now underway as part of Emera and OpenHydro’s plan to bring the tidal turbine back into compliance with the terms of its licence, “it’s a step in the direction of meeting our expectations,” said JoAnn Alberstat media relations advisor for the provincial Department of Energy and Mines.
“We will continue to monitor the court process in Ireland and make sure Nova Scotia’s interests are represented.
Alberstat said the province did require Cape Sharp Tidal to post a security bond to cover the cost of decommissioning, adding the department has options in order to protect taxpayers. “We continue to look at and prepare for, all the regulatory options available to us,” she said.