News


Tidal power environmental monitoring projects awarded funding

Posted on April 20th, in Bay of Fundy, Tidal Energy.

Press Release – April 20, 2017

(Halifax, NS) – Industry and academic researchers will join forces to collaborate on two projects in developing new environmental monitoring technologies for tidal energy applications.  The projects were selected for funding through a joint research competition sponsored by the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA), the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and INNOVACORP.  The projects’ combined research value is close to $500,000.

The project winners are Open Seas Instrumentation Inc. (OSI) of Musquodoboit Harbour awarded $135,000 and JASCO Applied Sciences of Dartmouth awarded $65,000 in funding, with the balance of research costs sourced from partner contributions.  Each project introduces an innovative approach to monitoring marine life near a tidal turbine.  The research results will lead to greater understanding of the complex relationships between tidal energy development and the biological and physical ocean environment.

The … Read More »


Lidar Coastal Mapping Project Announced

Posted on February 27th, in Offshore Energy.

February 28, 2017

(Halifax, NS)  The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) announced a pilot research project today. The project’s goal is to better understand the coastline inlet areas of Nova Scotia, which provide biologically diverse habitat and support an abundance of marine life.  By better understanding these areas, the research will help aid in their protection. The project is being undertaken by NSCC’s Applied Geomatics Research Group with funding from the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA), Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Shell Canada, and BP.

The pilot project is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia, using state-of-the-art airborne topo-bathymetric lidar technology to generate detailed maps of the shallow near-shore zone, where the use of traditional mapping methods is limited. In the same way that topographic maps represent the three-dimensional features of terrain on land, bathymetric maps illustrate the land … Read More »


Funding for tidal power environmental monitoring research announced

Posted on December 13th, in Bay of Fundy, Tidal Energy.

December 13, 2016

(Halifax, NS) The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA), the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation (Innovacorp) are partnering to improve techniques for the environmental monitoring of tidal power.

Starting today, OERA is accepting proposals for research into the development of new approaches for measuring the interaction between in-stream tidal devices and the marine environment. A total of $150,000 is being invested towards the initiative with the expectation that one or two projects will receive funding.

“The key to developing a sustainable and successful tidal energy industry in Nova Scotia is understanding how turbines interact with the Bay of Fundy,” says Stephen Dempsey, Executive Director OERA. “This research will not only help us enhance the environmental monitoring of tidal turbines, but it could also lead to the development of new technologies that are … Read More »


Nova Scotia and France reach agreement to research marine renewable energy

Posted on November 3rd, in Bay of Fundy, Tidal Energy.

For Immediate Release
November 3, 2016
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) and France Energies Marines (FEM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on research projects to improve technologies and applications for tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy and off the coast of France.

“Combining resources and research expertise from both sides of the Atlantic will advance our leadership in tidal energy development to the benefit of Nova Scotians and all Canadians,” said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Michel Samson. “Local researchers and companies have the know-how and ingenuity to support this industry. This partnership will increase the value of every research dollar and create more opportunities for local companies to grow.”

Minister Samson and OERA Executive Director Stephen Dempsey announced the agreement earlier today in Halifax.

The MoU focuses on areas that will contribute to a better … Read More »


Tidal Energy Research: New Report Highlights Growing Knowledge, Road Ahead

Posted on May 30th, in Bay of Fundy, Tidal Energy.

Press Release – May 30, 2016

HALIFAX, NS – The Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) announces the release of a new report summarizing the tidal-energy related research undertaken in the Bay of Fundy since 2007. The report comes in advance of Nova Scotia’s first grid-connected tidal turbines, scheduled for deployment in 2016.

The Nova Scotia Tidal Research Summary Report, authored by Dr. Graham Daborn of Fundy Environmental & Educational Consultants, offers a high level assessment of the environmental studies and regulatory initiatives that have been conducted in the lead up to the first grid-connected technology demonstration.

Commissioned by the Province of Nova Scotia through the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA), the Summary Report focuses on important research activity and findings on the marine environment and highlights the significance of the results in light of current tidal turbine deployment plans, including:

Three Strategic Environmental Assessments … Read More »


Funding approved for tidal energy environmental monitoring

Posted on March 22nd, in Bay of Fundy, Offshore Energy, Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE:  March 22, 2016

HALIFAX, NS – The Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy are jointly funding $250,000 to support an enhanced environmental effects monitoring program at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) site in the Bay of Fundy. The monitoring program is designed to determine the effects of deployment and operation of in-stream tidal turbines in 2016.

“Tidal energy holds tremendous potential for Nova Scotia – both as a producer of clean, renewable energy, and as an economic driver,” said Energy Minister Michel Samson. “The monitoring program at FORCE will provide developers, regulators, researchers and the public with information to better understand the impact of development on the marine environment. It’s an important step in our plan to build and grow a responsible tidal energy sector in Nova Scotia.”

In 2015, Nova Scotia … Read More »


Building a Tidal Energy Industry in Canada Offers Substantial Opportunity According to Study

Posted on April 23rd, in Bay of Fundy, Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE:  April 23, 2015

HALIFAX, NS – A new study released today shows the potential economic opportunity in building a tidal energy industry in Canada is substantial.  The study, “Value Proposition for Tidal Energy Development in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada and Canada” commissioned by the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) shows  tidal energy could reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and create a new industry that offers significant socio-economic benefits across the nation.

The Study  describes the potential opportunity that could result in developing a tidal energy industry in Canada.  More specifically, the value proposition examines the economic potential that could be realized over a 25 year period to 2040 and how that financial valuation changes under different factors and drivers.

“Globally, there is vast potential to draw hydrokinetic energy from oceans,” OERA Executive Director, Stephen Dempsey explains. “Enough … Read More »


OERA Funds Nova Scotia Student’s Research Travel

Posted on March 11th, in Offshore Energy, Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE:  March 11, 2015

Halifax, NS – Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) is pleased to announce that the OERA Student Research Travel Program has provided six Nova Scotia students the opportunity to build their international networks through travel to the USA, Ireland, and Bermuda to conduct their thesis research in the fields of marine renewable energy and offshore geosciences.  The February 2015 Student Research Travel Program award recipients are:

Dalhousie University in conjunction with Cape Breton University: Jordan Carlson, School for Resource and Environmental Studies, will be taking a tidal energy course at Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland and gain hands-on experience at Queen’s University’s small scale tidal energy lab and testing facility;
Acadia University: Laura MacNeil and Krista Kroeninger, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, will be undertaking an Advanced Field School at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences focusing on sedimentology, … Read More »


Seeking Candidates – Board of Directors

Posted on October 16th, in Uncategorized.

Independent Director Sought – October 16, 2014

Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) is an independent, contract research not-for-profit corporation dedicated to leading energy research initiatives, enabling the sustainable development of Nova Scotia energy resources through strategic partnerships with academia, government and industry. OERA’s members are Acadia University, St. Francis Xavier University, Cape Breton University, Saint Mary’s University, Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy.

Nova Scotia’s offshore energy potential is world-class.  OERA’s role is vital in ensuring that Nova Scotia’s emerging marine energy sectors are developed responsibly and sustainably.  OERA leads research to address critical gaps in environmental, marine renewable and offshore geoscience research and invests in high-impact research that moves Nova Scotia’s offshore and marine renewable energy sectors forward.  OERA’s purpose is to reduce the risks related to energy sector investments in Nova Scotia’s … Read More »


Launch of joint Canada – UK research call in tidal energy technologies

Posted on August 14th, in Tidal Energy.

Press Release – August 14, 2014

HALIFAX, NS – The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) and Technology Strategy Board (TSB) of the United Kingdom, are jointly investing approximately $1.4 million CAD (approximately £755,000) in collaborative R&D projects to support the acceleration of the tidal energy sector in both jurisdictions.  This competition stems from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in February 2014 by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy, the OERA and the United Kingdom’s TSB.  It commits the two organizations to work together in areas of mutual interest.  Further information regarding the MoU can be found at: http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20140304001.

The research competition aims to develop enhanced sensing technologies for in-stream tidal energy applications. This will lead to better data, improved data analysis, and collection methods. It will also allow us to advance research faster to address technical challenges and … Read More »


Release of the Bay of Fundy Update and the Cape Breton Region Strategic Environmental Assessments

PRESS RELEASE – May 26, 2014

HALIFAX, NS – The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) has announced the release of the Update to the Bay of Fundy Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Community Response Report for the Cape Breton Region.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a consultative process that explores the social, environmental and economic features and effects associated with marine renewable energy (MRE) projects.

In 2013 the Government of Nova Scotia commissioned OERA to complete an update to the 2008 Bay of Fundy SEA. The goal of the SEA update is to inform stakeholders how the in-steam tidal industry has evolved and describe what is new and/or changed in marine renewable energy, in particular tidal energy.

The Cape Breton SEA was commissioned in 2011 as a result of Government awarding two in-stream tidal energy … Read More »


Nova Scotia and U.K. Collaborate on Tidal Industry Development

Posted on March 4th, in Bay of Fundy, Offshore Energy, Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE – March 4, 2014

Nova Scotia and the United Kingdom will work together to advance tidal research to help the future development of the industry.

A memorandum of understanding between the province, the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia and the United Kingdom’s Technology Strategy Board will encourage joint research in order to improve the technology required to generate electricity using high tides like those in the Bay of Fundy.

Energy Minister Andrew Younger, executive director Stephen Dempsey of the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia and the acting British Deputy High Commissioner to Canada, Corin Robertson, on behalf of the Technology Strategy Board, announced the agreement today, March 4, in Halifax.

“Bringing together tidal energy leaders from Nova Scotia and the U.K. will help advance efforts to harness the power of Fundy tides,” said Mr. Younger. “Collaborating on tidal … Read More »


OERA Funds Nova Scotia Student’s Research Travel

Posted on October 10th, in Bay of Fundy, Offshore Energy, Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE – October 10, 2013

Halifax, NS – Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) is pleased to announce that the OERA Student Research Travel Program has provided four Nova Scotia students the opportunity to travel to the USA, Canada and Ireland to conduct their thesis research in the fields of marine renewable energy and offshore geosciences.  The September 2013 Student Research Travel Program award recipients are:

Matthew Baker, Department of Biology at Acadia University will be conducting tests in marine acoustic technology for use in estimating fish densities to advance understanding how tidal turbines could potentially affect fish behaviour at the University of Maine;
Sonja Bhatia, Department of Earth Sciences at Dalhousie University and in conjunction with Saint Francis Xavier University, will be undertaking research at specialized test facilities to further advance the development of fibre optic gas sensors for use offshore at … Read More »


Invitation for Expressions of Interest: Assessment of the economic value of the tidal industry

Posted on October 7th, in Tidal Energy, Uncategorized.

PRESS RELEASE – October 7, 2013

HALIFAX, NS – OERA is inviting submissions of Expressions of Interest (EOI) as a first step, followed by a request for detailed proposals from qualified applicants – to provide a comprehensive assessment of the value proposition and potential economic value of tidal power development to Nova Scotia, the Atlantic region and Canada.   The value proposition will serve to provide governments and the private sector with a well-informed assessment of the potential economic impacts and broader benefits using three different development scenarios (ie. low, medium and high potential), and how this industry might evolve over the next 25 years.

OERA expects the proposed value proposition will highlight the strengths of Nova Scotia’s and Canada’s ocean technology sectors and their competitive positioning within the industry; and provide recommendations how those industries can continue to thrive and grow. Because … Read More »


Offshore Environmental Research Award: Nova Scotia Researchers

Posted on October 2nd, in Offshore Energy.

Press Release – October 2, 2013

Tracking blue sharks, listening for whales and detecting natural gas movements through ocean water are all projects funded in the latest round of research grants awarded in Nova Scotia by Encana Corporation with the assistance of the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA).

The grants were awarded under the Deep Panuke Education and Training (E&T) and Research and Development (R&D) Call in environmental research pertaining to Nova Scotia’s offshore petroleum industry.  The Call was launched in November 2012 and was the fourth in the series under the Deep Panuke E&T and R&D Fund.  Total funding available was $400,000, with the Call process managed by OERA.

The Call was open to a range of disciplines including engineering, and physical, life and the social sciences, and in general, sought project concepts and ideas that would:

Reduce environmental risk to any aspect … Read More »


OERA Student Research Travel Program

Posted on July 18th, in Offshore Energy, Tidal Energy, Uncategorized.

Press Release – July 18, 2013

HALIFAX, NS – Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) is pleased to announce that the Student Research Travel Program is now open for its September 2013 round of applications.  The program is available to full-time senior honours & graduate students conducting thesis research at a Nova Scotia based university and undertaking research in marine renewable energy or geosciences.

The objective of the program is aimed at cultivating collaborations between Nova Scotia researchers and Canadian and international research facilities or laboratories which contribute to the advancement of the offshore energy sector in Nova Scotia.

The first round of applications from January 2013 saw students attend various universities including the University of Helsinki, University of West Indies, University of Edinburgh and the University of Tasmania.  Students were awarded travel funds ranging from $2,000 to $3,700 each, to support student research … Read More »


OERA Seeks Proposals for Community Based Research Projects Bay of Fundy

Press Release – July 17, 2013

HALIFAX, NS – OERA (Offshore Energy Research Association) is inviting applications from community based or not-for-profit organizations in the Bay of Fundy region to participate in an OERA established Participation Support Fund.  The purpose of the Participation Support Fund is to provide modest one time grants to local organizations or community groups to undertake small research initiatives that will support the Bay of Fundy Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Update by adding information, a particular perspective or further value to the SEA.  The primary goal of the Bay of Fundy SEA Update process is to scope and understand the potential environmental effects that offshore wind, wave and in particular, in-stream tidal technologies, will have on the offshore and coastal environment for the Bay of Fundy region.

Awards will be made at the discretion of OERA for proposals … Read More »


OERA Seeks Proposals for Community Based Research Projects Cape Breton Region

Press Release – July 8, 2013

HALIFAX, NS – OERA (Offshore Energy Research Association) is inviting applications from community based or not-for-profit organizations in the Cape Breton region to participate in an OERA established Participation Support Fund.  The purpose of the Participation Support Fund is to provide modest one time grants to local organizations or community groups to undertake small research initiatives that will support the Cape Breton Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) by adding information, a particular perspective or further value to the SEA.  The primary goal of the Cape Breton SEA process is to scope and understand the potential environmental effects that offshore wind, wave and in particular, in-stream tidal technologies, will have on the offshore and coastal environment for the Cape Breton region.

Awards will be made at the discretion of OERA for proposals in the following categories:

Initiatives that will … Read More »


OERA Announces Two Strategic Environmental Assessments

PRESS RELEASE – Date: April 29, 2013

HALIFAX, NS – OERA (Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia) is pleased to announce that two Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) of marine renewable energy have been awarded and are underway. OERA has awarded a contract to Stantec Consulting to undertake a SEA Consultative Process in the Cape Breton Region, inclusive of the Bras D’Or Lakes; and a contract to AECOM Ltd to update the 2008 Bay of Fundy SEA.

Stephen Dempsey, Executive Director of OERA, spoke to the importance of the SEA process as it is a method to understand the concerns of stakeholders and the various opportunities it provides. Tidal energy can help fill a growing global demand for renewable energy and enable Nova Scotia to meet its renewable energy targets. Strategic Environmental Assessments are essential and are completed through monitoring and protection, … Read More »


OERA Awards Graduate Student Funds

Posted on February 12th, in Offshore Energy, Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE – Date: February 12, 2013

HALIFAX, NS – OERA (Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia) has awarded travel funds, ranging from $2,000 to $3,700 each, to support graduate student research in projects related to tidal marine energy and offshore petroleum/geoscience research.

The funds are in support of graduate student research travel to international research facilities or laboratories which will contribution to the advancement of the offshore energy sector in Nova Scotia.

Stephen Dempsey, Executive Director of OERA, spoke to the importance of local and international collaboration in the pursuit of the development of energy efficiencies and sustainability.

“OERA’s mission is to lead energy research that enables the sustainable development of Nova Scotia energy resources through strategic partnerships with academia, government and industry. We have a great resource in our students who are the next stewards of our energy resources. It is … Read More »


Completion of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Background Report for Cape Breton

Posted on January 17th, in Strategic Environmental Assessment, Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE – Date:  January 17, 2013

The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) announces the completion of the Cape Breton SEA Background Report – a comprehensive study aimed at exploring the social, economic and environmental features and effects associated with marine renewable energy projects in coastal Cape Breton and the Bras d’Or Lakes.

The Background Report is the first step in the SEA process and will follow with a consultation component. Together, the Background Report and consultation results will serve to guide if, where and under what conditions marine renewable development will take place in Cape Breton. The SEA Background Report was commissioned by the NS Department of Energy and the report completed by AECOM Canada Ltd. The Report may be viewed on the OERA website.

The report is a valuable reference tool for residents, project developers, First Nations communities, … Read More »


North America’s Leading Tidal Energy Institutes Forge an Alliance

Posted on November 6th, in Tidal Energy.

PRESS RELEASE – Date: November 6, 2012

Today, Stephen Dempsey, Executive Director of Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) and John Miller, Director of the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center (MREC) of Massachusetts, United States signed a Letter of Intent (LOI), to help advance the marine renewable energy industry worldwide.

The emerging tidal energy sector in New England and Nova Scotia has the potential to transform how electricity is generated within our regions, but the industry is at an early stage of development and more research needs to be conducted before commercial scale developments can occur.

To support the potential for marine renewable energy, both OERA and MREC have committed to working together to make full use of research networks of both organizations in order to encourage development and training of talented professionals in the emerging tidal energy section. The … Read More »


Contract Signing with Biota Guard AS of Stavanger, Norway, to Study Impacts of Seismic on the Environment

Posted on June 21st, in Offshore Energy.

PRESS RELEASE – Date: June 21, 2012

The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) is pleased to announce that a 15-month contract has been signed with Biota Guard AS of Stavanger, Norway in conjunction with IRIS Biomiljø (International Research Institute of Stavanger). OERA has commissioned Biota Guard to undertake research in testing a novel technology that uniquely combines biosensors with conventional oceanographic sensors for monitoring the marine environment. The research will offer new insights to the science of the snow crab (Chionoecetesopilio) species for use in environmental effects monitoring here in Nova Scotia.