Judging by the large crowd gathered to hear the update from Nova Scotia Department of Energy representatives in Parrsboro last Tuesday, interest in this area remains high for what looks like a promising new resource.
All signs point to the waters off the Parrsboro shore being used for testing of the new tidal power technology when it is ready to put in the water. The Minas Basin and the Minas Channel showed the most potential of eight sites identified in Nova Scotia waters by the Electronic Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the town has been kept in the loop by the provincial government throughout the early stages of the process. Mayor Doug Robinson was even invited with the team on a fact-finding mission to the United Kingdom last September.
So while the government reps wont commit themselves to Parrsboro, its looking pretty good.
What does that mean? At worst, Parrsboro will be just the port used for maintenance crews as they travel by boat to service the turbines. This will no doubt create a few local jobs and economic spin-offs for the harbour.
A best-case scenario would see local companies such as Parrsboro Metal Fabricators engaged to manufacture some of the equipment needed for the turbines of a commercial operation. Many more jobs would be created in that case, but that is thus far only wishful thinking, and may never happen at all.
While locals may grow impatient with the studies and endless government red tape this process goes through, they should take comfort in the fact that stakeholders seem to be taking the time to do it right. The quickest route is not always the best one.