FORCE – Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy opens visitor centre
By Anthony Capkun
November 7, 2011 – The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) officially opened its 3000-ft, $1.3-million visitor centre in Parrsboro, N.S. The facility, which overlooks the tidal turbine demonstration project in the Minas Passage, offers visitors information, videos and interactive displays related to tidal energy and the Bay of Fundy.
FORCE has also received all 11 kilometres of subsea cables that, when connected, will give the centre a tidal power transmission capacity of 64 megawatts—the largest in the world, boasts FORCE.
“From shipbuilding to marine sciences to tidal energy, Nova Scotia is becoming known the world over as a centre of marine excellence,” said premier Darrell Dexter. “The momentum around tidal energy continues to build with the arrival of the subsea cables that will connect the province to the immense tidal power potential in the Bay of Fundy. And now, with this beautiful new visitors centre, the public has a place to watch this industry grow.”
“The government is proud to have invested in the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy,” said senator Fred Dickson on behalf of Bernard Valcourt, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Our investment supports the creation of a remarkable piece of community infrastructure that will harness the natural assets of Nova Scotia’s Fundy Region, building international profile for our community.”
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency invested more than $850,000 in the visitor centre, which also includes a small theatre and space for research and meetings. The OEER Association also contributed funding and research expertise for the centre.
“FORCE applauds the vision and commitment of both governments to an energy future where clean technology can play a role,” said FORCE chair John Woods. “These are early days for the tidal industry, but our partners have sent a clear signal that the Bay of Fundy is where to be.”
FORCE also announced that IT International Telecom, based in Halifax, will conduct a dry run in the Bay of Fundy in the coming weeks to prepare for installation of the cables next year.
The first environmental monitoring information is now available online at www.fundyforce.ca. The results show no evidence of adverse environmental effects when the turbine was in position, and will serve as an important reference as more turbines are put in place.
The visitor centre will be open until December 4, reopening in the spring. Hours of operation through the week are 11 am to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Participants in FORCE include: Nova Scotia Power, with OpenHydro; Alstom, with Clean Current; Minas Basin Pulp and Power, with Marine Current Turbines; and Atlantis Resources, with Lockheed Martin and Irving Shipbuilding. Funding partners include the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, and Encana Corp. For more information, visit www.fundyforce.ca.