Annual Report 2014
Country Reports


Elisa Obermann (Marine Renewables Canada) , Tracey Kutney (Natural Resources Canada)

2014 was a year of a number of marine energy achievements in Canada. These achievements include: Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) laid the 4 subsea electrical cables in the fall; a number of river current technologies have been and are currently being tested at the Canadian Hydrokinetic Test Centre; and the West Coast Wave Initiative continues to gain recognition for their activities in wave energy forecasting.


Canada’s Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap establishes targets whereby the Canadian sector contributes to projects totalling 75 MW by 2016, 250 MW by 2020 and 2 GW by 2030 for installed in-stream tidal, river-current and wave energy generation. On the Atlantic coast, the province of Nova Scotia is where many tidal activities are taking place in Canada, particularly in the Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Strategy outlines the Province’s plan to promote innovation and research, establish a regulatory system and encourage the development of market-competitive technologies and an industrial sector. It sets goals to develop marine renewable energy legislation, implement a research and development plan and has a target of having 300 MW of in-stream tidal electricity generation grid connected by 2030.

At the federal level, the Department of Natural Resources Canada, under the Marine Renewable Energy Enabling Measures program, is taking a lead role towards the development of a policy framework for administering marine renewable energy activities in the federal offshore. This policy framework will provide direction to the federal government on the potential development of a comprehensive legal framework for administering marine renewable energy in the federal offshore.

In early 2014, the Government of Nova Scotia amended the Renewable Electricity Regulations under the Electricity Act to establish the feed-in tariff (FIT) approval process for larger-scale developmental tidal projects. The regulations and FIT are intended to help ensure the industry can invest in projects and install 15 to 20 MW of tidal-power capacity in Nova Scotia over the next 5-6 years.

The Government of Nova Scotia continues to work on developing legislation specific to marine renewable energy. It is anticipated that legislation will be tabled in fall 2015.

The Statement of Best Practices for In-Stream Tidal Energy Development & Operation was developed by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Marine Renewables Canada. It provides guidance for the development and operations of in-stream tidal energy. The Statement is a tool that can be used by industry, government, and other key stakeholders to harmonize development with environmental interests and ensure that the industry grows in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. It follows a sequence of essential steps in planning, deployment, operation, and decommissioning of an in-stream tidal energy project. 

As part of Nova Scotia’s strategy for marine renewable energy development, the province continues to initiate and lead strategic environmental assessments (SEA). The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) led an update to the Bay of Fundy SEA (previously conducted in 2007-2008) and the report was released in 2014. The OERA also managed a SEA for the Cape Breton Island Region, which was also released in 2014.

In 2013, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) released its decision for developmental tidal Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) rates. Developers may choose between 1 of 2 FIT ‘paths’: Developmental or Testing. The two paths are designed to respond to the diverse nature of project plans, turbine designs, and to support the build-out to multiple-device projects. The Test Path - Phase 1 is limited to single-device deployments at FORCE for a 3-year period. At the end of the 3 years, the rates transition to the Test Path - Phase 2, and the developer may deploy additional devices. The entire project would then be subject to the Test Path – Phase 2 rates for the following 15-years. The Developmental Path allows for the deployment of multiple devices for a period of 15 years, and is not limited to deployments at FORCE. Both FIT rate paths are ‘declining block’, thus the rates decline in accordance to the megawatt hour (MWh) output of the project, which reflects project efficiencies and economies of scale. The net present value (NPV) of both the Testing and the Developmental FIT paths are intended to be the same over the contract period.


The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) is Canada’s research centre for in-stream tidal energy, located in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. FORCE provides four berths (project sites) to host technology developers, with electrical infrastructure to deliver power to the grid. In December 2014, four developers with projects at FORCE received Developmental FIT approvals, totalling 17.5 MW to be developed at the FORCE site:

  • Minas Energy (4 MW)
  • Black Rock Tidal Power (5 MW)
  • Atlantis Operations Canada (4.5 MW)
  • Cape Sharp Tidal Venture (4 MW)

These developers have received approval for the Developmental FIT path, which allows them to enter into a 15-year power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power. The first turbines are expected to operate in the Bay of Fundy in 2015.

The Government of Nova Scotia also has the Community Feed-in-Tariff (COMFIT) program, which was launched in September 2011. Under the COMFIT program, Nova Scotia allows local community groups to connect smallscale in-stream tidal devices, under 500 kW, to the electrical grid at the distribution level at a feed-in tariff price of 65.2 cents/kWh over a 20-year contract. To-date, one entity has received COMFIT approvals for five in-stream tidal energy projects. Fundy Tidal Inc. is in the process of finalizing deployment plans for small-scale projects with its financial partner, International Marine Energy, and device developers Clean Current, Tocardo, and Nautricity.

To date, Canada’s main public funding programs supporting national research, development, and demonstrations are from federal programs administered through the Office of Energy Research and Development, such as the Clean Energy Fund (CEF), the Program for Energy Research and Development (PERD) and the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII). Through these programs Canada has committed approximately $37 million to marine renewable energy RD&D since 2010. In addition, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm’s length foundation created by the Government of Canada, has committed approximately $13 million to develop and demonstrate projects that include in-stream tidal, river-current and wave energy technologies.

The National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Programme has supported many early technology assessment and physical and numerical modelling trials. Most projects have benefitted from the refundable tax credit for Scientific Research and Experimental Development. Many projects have also received support from provincial economic development agencies.

At a provincial level, Nova Scotia has directly invested in the FORCE development initiative and, through the OERA, supported a number of strategic research projects in marine energy, estimated to be approximately $8 million. In addition, provincial economic development agencies and funds, in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, have provided at least $10 million to support projects.

To further activity under the Canada-United Kingdom Joint Declaration, a memorandum of understanding between Nova Scotia, the OERA, and the United Kingdom’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB, now InnovateUK) was signed in March 2014 to encourage joint research to develop new and innovative technology for high-flow tidal environments. As a first action in support of this MOU, the OERA and InnovateUK launched a call for collaborative R&D projects focused on advancing environmental monitoring, sensing, and instrumentation in August 2014 ( The two jurisdictions are jointly investing $1.4 million. The deadline for expressions of interest was November 28, 2014, and the successful projects will be announced in 2015.


Over the course of 2014, FORCE has been working on completing aspects of the shared infrastructure it provides for tidal energy developers. In late 2013, FORCE successfully installed a data cable designed to connect a recoverable research platform – the Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology platform (FAST).

This was the first subsea cable ever installed in the Minas Passage.

The cable installation is part of an $8 million research project to build the FAST platform which is designed to monitor and characterize the FORCE site. The data cable allows for continuous, realtime data transmission from the platform to shore.

FORCE cable deployment  

Building on the data cable deployment experience, FORCE successfully installed four subsea power cables, one dedicated to each of its 4 turbine test berths, at its site in the fall, giving it the largest transmission capacity for any tidal energy site in the world at 64 MW