Tidal power being tested in Haida Gwaii
Tidal power testing is well under way in the Bay of Fundy on Canada’s east coast, but now the energy source’s potential is also being tested in B.C.
Yourbrook Energy Systems began testing a prototype tidal power pump on August 11 in the Juskatla Narrows of the Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the Pacific northwest coast of B.C.
The system uses the tide’s energy to pump seawater at high pressure up an incline into a reservoir, and then releases it to pass through a turbine to generate power. The prototype was designed by members of the Haida First Nation and business manager Clyde Greenough.
The project is partially funded by the National Research Council of Canada’s IRAP program which gave $280,000.
While the Haida Gwaii ‘s northern areas currently have to rely on diesel power, it is hoped that tidal power could be an energy supply alternative. According to media reports, the use of tidal energy would replace the 10 million litres of diesel fuel which is currently used every year, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The people of Haida Gwaii rejected a wind farm in 2011 out of environmental concerns.
If the three-month tests of Yourbrook’s plant are successful, the company plans to build a full-scale model.
To read a report in Tidal Energy Today, click here.