While Nova Scotia's Minas Passage is one of the most promising industrial-scale tidal-electricity resources
in the world, several marine engineering issues, the most obvious of which are related to the seasonal presence of ice, need
to be resolved before this renewable energy resource can be accessed yaear-round.
Prior to the installation of the hundreds of modular tidal electricity harvesting
devices planned for this roughly 8 km by 16 km area, engineering strategies need to be developed to:
--avoid, minimize or
tolerate occasional contact between tidal current harvesting devices and seasonal surface ice and sub-surface masses such
as sediment-laden ice cakes, water-logged trees and large marine vertebrates; and
--avoid, minimumize or tolerate damage to tidal
current harvesting devices and their associated cables from seafloor turbulence such a reciprocating tidal-current-driven
sea-bed sediment storms mobilizing mud, silt, sand, cobbels and/or boulders.
Obvious prerequisites to the development of
engineering strategies for these two issues are studies to quantify the risk of both sub-sruface collisions and seafloor turbulence.
Specifically required are:
1. an annual sub-surface census of all macroscopic traffic through the Minas
2. a year-long
monitoring of seafloor dynamics at all sites where tidal devices and their associated cables are to be located.