Tidal power development progressing at its own pace

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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PARRSBORO Premier Rodney MacDonald boasted to his counterparts from the rest of the country recently that Nova Scotia is leading the way in tidal power technology, but Parrsboro mayor Doug Robinson wishes they would just get on with the project here.

Were behind the eight-ball now, as far as Im concerned, said Robinson. We should be moving ahead with this.

PARRSBORO Premier Rodney MacDonald boasted to his counterparts from the rest of the country recently that Nova Scotia is leading the way in tidal power technology, but Parrsboro mayor Doug Robinson wishes they would just get on with the project here.

Were behind the eight-ball now, as far as Im concerned, said Robinson. We should be moving ahead with this.

MacDonald announced at the Council of Federation meeting in Moncton, N.B., on Aug. 9 that Nova Scotia has issued a request for proposals to find the most efficient, durable, non-invasive technology in existence that will allow the province to tap into the natural power coming through the tides and establish an industry center for technology.

The Bay of Fundy provides a significant opportunity for Nova Scotia and Canada. We will champion the effort for world tidal power innovation, said the premier. Weve invited developers from around the world to help us find the best technology, and were excited by both the power generation possibilities as well as the potential technology innovation benefits for our province and country.

The request for proposals asks developers to demonstrate in-stream tidal devices through a common demonstration facility in the Minas Passage area of the Bay of Fundy.

Nova Scotia Power representatives have visited the Parrsboro area and were eyeing up an area between Cape Sharp and Partridge Island for the test site, according to Robinson, who said they were doing further testing on the bottom. He added that they were also considering landing their cables somewhere near the causeway between Partridge Island and Ottawa House museum.

But he said the messages from Nova Scotia Power and the departments of environment and natural resources can be conflicting.

It sounds like Nova Scotia Power has the project, but now the province is saying its looking for requests for proposals, so it seems like a step backwards, said the mayor. It is confusing.

He said he would feel more comfortable once they start active preparatory work and using the local harbour.

Once they start doing that, it will definitely say this is the direction were going, said Robinson. You can make all the promises you want, but politics is politics.

A community forum will be held in Parrsboro as part of the environmental assessment on Monday, Aug. 20.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Partridge Island and Ottawa House

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, Nova Scotia, Bay of Fundy Moncton Canada Minas Passage Partridge Island

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