Annual Report 2017
Country Reports


Monika Knowles and Ghanashyam Ranjitkar Natural Resources Canada


The Acadia Tidal Energy Institute (ATEI) at Acadia University continues to support sustainable tidal energy development via risk reduction and informed decision making. Activities led by ATEI in 2017 included:

  • Launch of a multi-institutional project “Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Forecasting Infrastructure for Instream Tidal Energy” led by Acadia with partners Dalhousie University, University of New Brunswick and Memorial University.
  • Preparation and provision of model data to assist with Cape Sharp Tidal marine operations, drifter-ADCP surveys for tidal energy resource assessment, with Luna Oceans & Dalhousie;
  • Drifter-hydrophone system design and proof of concept testing in Minas Passage/Channel for detection of harbour porpoises;
  • Analysis and interpretation of active hydroacoustic datasets collected with fish detection sonars housed on a FAST platform at the FORCE test site;
  • In-depth analysis of fish tracking datasets for the determination of fish – turbine encounter probabilities at FORCE.
  • Multiple publications covering issues such as governance, funding and financial supports, social acceptance, stakeholder engagement, Indigenous rights and ownership, and fish interactions and behaviour.


The West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI), out of University of Victoria’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic), completes high resolution 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 on 12-year hindcast and a 48-hour forecast.

Over 2017, WCWI continued its efforts to support cutting edge wave research and development efforts for governments, technology and project developers across the globe. In November, WCWI received $1.4 million from Western Economic Diversification (WD) to establish the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED), which will lead work to eliminate the uncertainty and risk for “first-of-a-kind” community based marine renewable energy projects.

PRIMED will make use of extensive wind, wave and tide data and consolidate it with new data gathered by sensors on the new Canadian Pacific Robotic Ocean Observing Facility (C-PROOF). Using simulations, PRIMED will provide detailed predictions of energy supply prior to the deployment of devices.

In April, the WCWI released a co-authored report with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, Wave Energy: A Primer for British Columbia, summarizing key research findings about the magnitude of BC’s wave energy potential and the challenges and opportunities of the sector. Funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) was also received to support further work with a number of wave-technology companies and modeling of the wave energy resource in British Columbia. Through WCWI’s work over the past years, there is now enough detailed information on the height, frequency and direction of its coastal waves to start developing and testing energy converters in the ocean.

The Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) in Nova Scotia continues to support research that will facilitate the sustainable development of tidal energy in the province and Canada. In 2017, OERA led and supported a number of activities including:

  • Supported five collaborative research projects under the areas of environmental effects monitoring, marine operations, and cost reduction technologies in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada and Nova Scotia Department of Energy;
  • An update to the (2011) Marine Renewable Energy Infrastructure Assessment to bring to current, projected needs for the tidal industry relating to port options around the Bay of Fundy;
  • New research on the financial support mechanisms available to project developers to aid in the growth of the Canadian tidal sector (Acadia University);
  • New software development in tug propulsion systems modelling for use in optimizing tidal energy marine operations (DSA);
  • Improved understanding of the probability of encounter between striped bass populations and a turbine in the Bay of Fundy (Acadia University);
  • New findings on how striped bass behave, move and respond to an operating turbine in a (controlled) laboratory environment (Dalhousie University);
  • Testing of drone technology and its use as a novel and cost effective tool for tidal energy site characterization.

OERA also recently entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that will jointly fund marine renewable energy research projects in Nova Scotia.

These projects will support academic research carried out in collaboration with Canadian companies over the next three years.

CanmetENERGY/NRCan have been working on collaboratively to develop marine energy resources atlas for province of British Columbia (BC). This project aims to complete a comprehensive assessment of tidal, wave and river hydrokinetic energy resources throughout BC. It will assemble a geo-spatial database containing best-available information on wave, tidal and river hydrokinetic resources combined with other relevant socio-economic datasets and develop a specialized geo-spatial analysis, mapping and decision support system to support and inform stakeholders in identifying and evaluating sites for prospective development. It will estimate unit cost of energy for wave, tidal and river hydrokinetic resources and estimate the potential future market penetration for marine renewables in the province.

NRCan has initiated five-year collaborative research projects in advancing river hydrokinetic energy with NRC, academia, marine energy industry and Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre. Project aims to develop methodology to identify potential sites in a river stretch using radar satellite images taken during winter months where fast flowing river sections in Canada are not likely to freeze. Second objective of the project is turbine performance monitoring to collect data of operating for a full season to improve understanding of energy production, performance and reliability of river hydrokinetic system and to investigate how to improve energy extraction efficiency of cross-flow turbine. Third objective is to understand multiple turbine array interactions and spacing between turbines to optimize energy extraction from a stretch of river resource to develop guidelines for turbine array configuration.