The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2006 May 12

Company looking at tidal energy

CAMPOBELLO — Head Harbour Passage and L'Etete Passage are among eight sites being studied for the potential of tidal power off the N.B. coast.

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has narrowed its search to eight sites with maximum potential power from tidal for the province estimated to be 90 megawatts.

EPRI, which is studying tidal power through a joint endeavour in six jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S., has decided to move forward with a more in-depth examination of site data.

The study at this stage involves existing data only. Brenda Fowlie, the province's Energy Minister, said Tuesday it is important to stress that no devices will be placed in the water.

"We are pleased that the study has reached this stage, but it is also important for the fisheries and aquaculture industry, and for those concerned with the environment, to realize that we are a long way from deciding whether a device of any kind would be placed in the water. At this stage we are talking about data analysis only."

The study saw N.B. join forces with Maine, Massachusetts, N.S., the U.S. Department of Energy, the City of San Francisco, Alaska and Washington.

New Brunswick's contribution, including assistance from Business New Brunswick, NB Power, and Atlantica, was $75,000. With all parties contributing, including in-kind services, the global study cost more than $400,000, and information was shared among all partners. New Brunswick was able to leverage expertise for the study at a minimal cost compared to having performed the study alone.

In New Brunswick, Fowlie said some of the criteria that helped narrow the site choices included having areas that were close to research and development facilities in St. Andrews and Saint John, and close to high-energy-consumption areas as well as transmission connections.

The eight sites identified as areas of interest are Lubec Narrows, Western Passage, Head Harbour Passage, L'Etete Passage, areas of the St. John River, Cape Enrage, Shepody Bay and Cumberland Basin.

EPRI's work is expected to conclude with a preliminary report completed within the next few months.


© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB