Strategic Environmental Assessment – Bay of Fundy (Phase I)

Due to renewed interest in tidal energy, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy commissioned OERA to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to provide advice on whether, when and under what conditions tidal energy demonstration and commercial projects should be allowed in the Bay of Fundy. The SEA process, which took approximately one year, addressed all forms of marine renewable energy technology — offshore wind, wave, and various tidal energy approaches — but focused on tidal in-stream energy conversion (TISEC) devices.

The process was guided by the SEA Technical Advisory Group and included:

• a background study, jointly commissioned by OERA and New Brunswick Energy, and prepared by a team led by Jacques Whitford;
• two rounds of community forums held in six locations in the Bay of Fundy Region;
• appointment of a 24-person Stakeholder Roundtable that met monthly;
• funding for community-based participation and research initiatives; and
• an extensive website and a monthly newsletter.

Using existing information the Background Report described the different technologies, assembled base¬line information about the region, and explained how marine renewable energy developments might interact with both the biophysical and socioeconomic environment. The Report also identified informa¬tion gaps and suggested how they should be filled.

Using the findings of the Background Report, together with input from the Stakeholder Roundtable and the public, and ideas brought forward through the Participation Support funding process, OERA has made 29 recommendations to guide a strategic approach to the development of marine renewable energy in the Bay of Fundy.

A copy of the final report can be found here.