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Canadian Tidal Energy Project Collapses

Paul O’Donoghue, The Times

Cape Sharp Tidal project to close

One of Canada’s largest utility companies has pulled the plug on a tidal energy project after the collapse of Open Hydro.

Emera, a public energy company, has announced that it is withdrawing from its involvement in the Cape Sharp Tidal project in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. The scheme was a joint venture between Emera and Open Hydro, a Dublin-based renewable energy company, to build what would have been among the world’s first commercially-viable tidal energy turbines.

Initially, the companies planned to install two turbines capable of meeting the annual energy needs of about 1,000 homes, which would have been used to gauge the viability of the technology.

With a successful test the businesses hoped to able to develop a tidal farm in Nova Scotia to power 150,000 homes.

Plans for the project were thrown into doubt after a liquidator was appointed to Open Hydro at the end of July.

Open Hydro, which employs about 100 people, was said to be “seriously insolvent” and owed €120 million to Naval Energies, its French parent company. On Friday, the High Court appointed an interim examiner to the Open Hydro group which specialises in developing turbines that generate electricity from tidal energy.

It was initially unclear what would happen to the project in Nova Scotia, but now Emera, which employs 7,400 staff, has said that it has had to scrap it.

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