Nova Scotia Small Tidal Test Centre: Establishing a Business Case

Principal Investigators:

Shelley MacDougall, S.L MacDougall Research & Consulting; Greg Trowse, Luna Ocean Consulting; Richard Karsten, Acadia Tidal Energy Institute; Darren Hayes, Dare Technology

Start Date: November 2017

End Date:  March 2018

As the tidal energy industry develops, there is increasing interest in the prospects for small-scale tidal energy development, which can provide:

  • distributed, predictable energy as a source of grid-connected base power (with energy storage), throughout rural maritime Nova Scotia;
  • renewable energy to remote communities where reliable electricity is unavailable or diesel powered and tidal resources are present;

The highly exportable service of building small-scale tidal energy installations has promise given the number of locations where they can be used. Installations will create demand for site assessments, specialized monitoring technologies, and expertise. However, more research, development and demonstration is needed – to prove the technologies, improve understanding of the effects on marine life, and reduce costs – before the market will open up to small-scale tidal energy solutions. In addition, much can be learned from small-scale tidal that can be applied or scaled up to large-scale tidal energy development. Such a staged approach would allow for logged operating hours, technological and operational improvements, and reduction of costs and uncertainty. These can improve the levelized cost of energy, facilitate private-sector financing, and lower the cost of capital, helping to move the industry forward.

Research Objectives

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Determine if there is a lack of small scale test opportunities around the world, and if so, whether this gap could be filled in Nova Scotia.
  2. Identify potential small-scale tidal test center models, combining Nova Scotia’s unique natural and human resources, that may fill an unserved or under-served niche. Ideally, test center models will be economically beneficial, support regional and international research and development activities, provide local research and business opportunities, and have a competitive advantage that will be sustainable as the industry develops, here and abroad.
  3. Describe the economic outputs/advantages that would accrue to Nova Scotian people and organizations, if a small-scale tidal test centre were to be built here.


Final Report