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It’s home to the highest tides in the world and soon, the Minas Passage will also be the test site for a new type of tidal turbine that could transform the race to create renewable energy in Nova Scotia.

The Dutch-based marine turbine supplier says they have the proven technology that can correctly harness energy in the Bay of Fundy. The Tocardo technology consists of four 250 kilowatt bi-directional open rotor turbine generators which are attached to a floating platform.


Minas Energy said it has entered into a partnership with International Marine Energy Inc (IME) and Tocardo International BV, using Tocardo’s tidal turbines. The new collaboration, Minas Tidal Limited Partnership (MTLP), intends to test Netherland-based Tocardo technology at the Fundy Ocean Resource Centre for Energy (FORCE) in the Minas Passage. In-water testing is anticipated in late 2017.

“We are looking forward to demonstrating Tocardo’s capabilities in North America and hope to make Nova Scotia the centre of our future manufacturing operations,” said Hans Van Breugel, President of Tocardo.

A Dutch firm that calls the Bay of Fundy “the holy grail” aims to exploit the bay’s powerful tidal currents by testing a floating turbine system starting next year.

Halifax-based Minas Energy announced Tuesday it was partnering with Netherlands firm Tocardo International BV and Ontario-based International Marine Energy Inc. to form the Minas Tidal Limited Partnership.

The new partnership plans to test the Dutch company’s technology in the Minas Passage by late 2017, the third distinct approach announced recently to harnessing the bay’s powerful forces.

The Bay of Fundy is at the end of the Gulf of Maine, bordered by the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. When the tide flows into the outer bay, 160 billion tons of water rush in at a speed of one to two meters per second. Where the bay narrows to squeeze through the five-and-a-half kilometer wide Minas Passage, 14 billion tons of seawater accelerate to five meters per second.

The first of two giant tidal turbines to be installed in the Bay of Fundy arrived in Halifax Harbour Thursday morning for the next stage of the project.

Cape Sharp Tidal had one of the 1,000-tonne turbines hauled by barge to Halifax for ballasting work in the coming days.

The turbine's steel subsea base will be ballasted with concrete then tested and inspected for use. Cape Sharp says the turbine will rest on the sea floor under its own weight.