SMRU Consulting Canada and FORCE (The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy) continue to work together on the potential effects of tidal turbines in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. FORCE is Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy, and acts as a host to technology developers, and oversees the independently reviewed environmental monitoring program in the Minas Passage.
Several in-stream tidal demonstration projects are anticipated at the FORCE site in the next few years, including the first two turbine deployments by Cape Sharp Tidal Venture (CSTV). FORCE’s 2016 monitoring programs have already swung into action – including the deployment of three marine mammal acoustic detectors called C-PODs.
SMRU Consulting Canada, in collaboration with Acadia University, previously used C-PODs in a multi-year passive acoustic monitoring study to gather 1,342 days of baseline data on harbour porpoise (and dolphin) presence in the Minas Passage. Silently, these acoustic detectors record the echolocation clicks of porpoise and dolphins. In May, SMRU Consulting calibrated the C-PODs and FORCE staff deployed them successfully on June 6th 2016 – recovering them 82 days later. All three devices functioned throughout the deployment and echolocation click detections to confirm porpoise and dolphin presence are being compared and added to previous baseline data. The goal of these analyses is to better understand the potential effects of turbine presence and chance of blade strike, as well as turbine noise on the local occurrence of porpoise and dolphins. The second deployment occurred in late September 2016 and includes 5 C-PODs to better cover deeper waters outside of the demonstration area.
Also at the FORCE site, SMRU Consulting Canada is part of an OERA (Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia) and Innovate UK funded international project developing marine mammal (and fish) detection methodology using sonar. This detection method will enhance “on turbine” passive acoustic monitoring. The Tritech Gemini sonar detection system is already attached to one of CSTV’s Open Hydro turbines. It is ready to document movement of marine mammals and fish adjacent to the turbine, which will help us to understand how marine animals respond to tidal turbines. These studies, together with our wide-ranging work in the UK and North America, are set to help marine renewables move forward into a cleaner future.
Related Projects Include: