Green Technologies: Harnessing the Tide and Protecting Wildlife

The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia has been called “The Everest of Tides,” because of its funnel shaped channel and record-setting 50-foot tides. The energy moving that much water can be harnessed, and innovators are racing to find a way to do so, while protecting and preserving marine life.

A pilot project has been underway for seven months, so far successfully, generating enough energy to power 250 homes, and is being assessed in terms of wildlife safety. The innovative turbine that captures the energy rests on platforms that float on the water and can be moved up and out of the way of marine life and for maintenance.

If this technology proves stable, maintainable, and safe for wildlife, it will be a breakthrough, serving as continuous source of renewable energy given that the tides never cease moving—always generating power.

The pilot turbine operates some distance from the Minas Passage, a narrow channel near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Ultimately, the goal is to place a turbine in this spot where the ride rises and falls to about 55 feet—about the height of a four-story-building—every six hours. It has the potential to provide power for a million residents, coping with 14 billion tons of water moving at an average of 12 mph. Lindsey Bennet, a manager a nearby provincial government tidal research station, says, “If you can operate your technology here in this environment, you can operate your technology anywhere in the world.”

Multiple attempts to harness tidal power in this way have failed over the past century—but this current project, by Sustainable Marine, a German company, continues to hold promise, conquering many of the challenges of the environment.

Similar tidal straits can be found around the world. Having a technology that can safely generate power from ocean tides has the possibility of transforming renewable energy into a constant, carbon-free source of power.

Your Comment

This will not be visible to the public.

*All comments need approval by Climate Alliance.

Please Share Me On