82 OES Annual Report 2015 | CANADA | Research & Development
Annual Report 2015
Country Reports


Tracey Kutney Natural Resources Canada

Several universities across Canada are involved in the marine renewable energy sector. Acadia Tidal Energy Institute (ATEI) out of Acadia University focuses on projects that seek to ensure that tidal energy development is sustainable through risk reduction and informed decision-making. Over the past year this work involved:

  1. Developing the Nova Scotia Tidal Energy Atlas, an interactive web-based mapping application that makes tidal energy related spatial information readily accessible to the public, and is planned for public release in February 2016;
  2. Leading the analysis of the three Digby passages, measuring and modelling the turbulence in the tidal flows;
  3. Assessing different stakeholders’ community engagement strategies in Nova Scotia and to what extent these strategies support social acceptance of tidal energy development;
  4. Conducting work to advance acoustic environmental sensors and software for the detection of fish and marine mammals at and near tidal energy turbines;
  5. Gathering the insights of executives and senior managers in the tidal energy industry both locally and internationally to understand the strategic decisionmaking regarding the timing of commercial scale tidal energy investment, and
  6. Developing a Tidal Energy School Outreach Programme that brought tidal energy hands-on activities and information into Nova Scotian classrooms for over 300 students in 2015.

Wave energy research in Canada continues to be driven by the West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI) out of University of Victoria’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic). The WCWI completes highresolution wave resource assessments, detailed wave energy converter (WEC) technology simulations and both short-term and long-term electrical system integration studies. The WCWI has developed and validated a high resolution wave model of the British Columbia coast that is utilized as both an 11-year hindcast and a 48-hour forecast. The WCWI works to evaluate wave energy converter designs and control system configurations with a number of national and international technology developers, including Resolute Marine Energy, Carnegie Wave Energy, Ocean Energy Ltd, Seawood Designs and Accumulated Ocean Energy. Hourly power production estimates for future wave energy converter farms off the British Columbia coast, created by combining the detailed wave resource and device performance characteristics, are then simulated into the BC Hydro electrical grid. This allows for the identification of WEC farm locations which maximise utilization of the produced power and require the lowest capital investment on behalf of local utilities.

Additionally, WCWI researchers, in collaboration with Sandia National Labs, are developing a novel wave propagation code allowing for the implementation of WEC farms within SWAN; this will allow for higher resolution predictions of WEC farm power output and far field disturbance effects.