Cape Sharp Tidal Inc. has confirmed that the first of two test turbines has arrived in Saint John aboard the barge Scotia Tide.
The five-storey, 1,000 tonne turbine reached New Brunswick this week from Halifax Harbour on its journey to the tidal test site in the Minas Passage near Parrsboro, N.S.
Sarah Dawson, who speaks for the company, says Cape Sharp is trying to figure out how to replace fastening components that are needed to secure part of the turbine generator in position. Repairs are already underway on the fasteners in a second turbine that is being built at Pictou, N.S.
In June, the Nova Scotia environment minister approved installation of the two Cape Sharp turbines, but also called for improved environmental monitoring to assess the potential impact on fish and sea mammals.
The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fisherman’s Association has filed an application with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court seeking to overturn the minister’s decision. The association argues that there isn’t enough baseline data to measure the impact of turbines on marine life and that underwater monitoring plans aren’t sophisticated enough to determine the environmental effects of the turbines.
Cape Sharp Tidal is still planning to install its turbines this year once the fastening components are replaced, but as yet, there is no timeline for deployment.
In 2009, the blades on the first turbine to be deployed at the site were wrecked within days by the fierce Fundy tides.
A number of other companies are also planning to test turbines at the Minas Passage site, but none of them will be going into the water this year.
Bruce Wark worked in broadcasting and journalism education for more than 35 years. He was at CBC Radio for nearly 20 years as senior editor of network programs such as The World at Six and World Report. He was the first producer of The House, a Saturday morning program on national politics. He currently resides in Sackville where he publishes Warktimes.