The Bay of Fundy boasts the largest tides in the world, reaching up to an extreme range of 17 metres (55.7 feet). This tidal range combined with 9300km2 of covered area creates a tidal flow of 160 billion tonnes of water per tide cycle twice daily, which is more than the flow of all the worlds fresh water rivers combined!
The Bay of Fundy appears a natural choice for hydroelectric power generation. Although picturesque and very ecologically active, the Bay of Fundy is an extremely violent locale with current speeds up to 10 metres per second (19.4 knots, 36km/hr).
The Bay of Fundy is surrounded by clay-like geology and protrudes long distances inland though countless narrow waterways.
This clay-like material dislodges and amalgamates with the ever flowing sea water during the tidal cycle. This tidal erosion results in extreme currents pushing trees, manmade buoyant objects, and the most ominous of all – neutrally buoyant ice.
The ice that forms in the Bay of Fundy comes in contact with the sea bed at low tide, at which time it picks up clay and small rocks creating the theorized phenomenon of a neutrally buoyant mass. These masses weigh several tonnes and are being tossed around underwater. The ever changing nature of debris afloat in the strong currents of the Bay of Fundy poses the greatest challenge for both surface and subsea power generating structures.
As a result of increased alternative energy and ecological research activity in the Bay of Fundy there is a flurry of contractors from all industries including land based construction/demolition companies pursuing opportunities in tidal research projects.
Researchers take heed…
These companies are vying for marine contracts as part of the ongoing R & D in the Bay of Fundy. Many of these businesses are inexperienced and/or ill-equipped to deal with conducting complex marine operations in the Bay of Fundy. Marine contractor selection needs to be governed by a prequalification process that assesses equipment, personnel, and experience delivering subsea construction services.
It is integral that marine service providers apply job planning strategies that contend with the difficulties presented by the world’s harshest tidal conditions. Unrealistically, low-priced proposals that make no allotment for pre-planning, engineering, and specific equipment are telltale signs of an inexperienced marine service provider.
Dominion Diving Limited has over 45 years of experience in the Offshore Ocean Oil and Gas industry, which demands results under consequence of monetary penalty. We offer assistance to our clients through consultancy in the preplanning stages as well as ongoing project management to ensure project goals and schedules are set properly and met with confidence.
The Tidal Energy Research in the Bay of Fundy is in its infancy. There is a massive amount of energy potential locked within the tides of the Bay of Fundy. R & D will intensify as the tide’s secrets are unlocked and solutions are found.
It is likely the hydro power generation industry of the Bay of Fundy will follow in the footsteps of the Offshore Ocean Oil and Gas industry with regards to governing & regulation. Dominion Diving hopes that contractors will be required to ensure efficient and safe development of this new resource.
The potential of clean energy is infinite, unlike fossil fuel. The ongoing research conducted in the Bay of Fundy will result in the knowledge required to generate efficient tidal power. The methods & conduct of research companies and marine contractors will lay the foundation on which tidal energy will be built in Nova Scotia.
Dominion Diving Limited is an established and diverse marine service company very familiar with the Bay of Fundy. Current tidal projects include the use of our Tugs, Barges, Geophysical Survey Vessels, Divers, and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs.) Dominion Diving is currently helping researchers conduct work in the Bay of Fundy and is positioned to become the primary marine service provider for the burgeoning tidal power industry.
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