Catching the Tidal Energy Wave

Nova Scotia selects Lockheed Martin as part of team to harness power of the Bay of Fundy’s tides


file Lockheed Martin is part of the team that will build and install one of Atlantic Resources’ one megawatt AK-1000 Mark II tidal turbines, similar to the one above, at a test site in Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy Atlantis Resources Corporation.

Some of the world’s highest and most powerful tides occur in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, where more than 100 billion tons of water – enough to fill Lake Champlain almost four times – flow in and out each day. Nova Scotia wants to capture the kinetic motion of these ebbing and surging tides to produce clean energy and recently selected a team that includes Lockheed Martin to help.

As part of the Nova Scotia’s Fundy Ocean Research for Energy (FORCE) project, Lockheed Martin, prime contractor Atlantis Resources Corporation and Irving Shipbuilding will build, deploy and monitor a tidal turbine at FORCE’s Minas Passage test site. The turbine’s deployment is scheduled for summer 2012.

“Together, we are working to harness some of the most powerful tides in the world to produce safe, clean, renewable energy for Nova Scotia,” said Darrell Dexter, Nova Scotia’s premier. “We are taking on the challenge of building an industry from the water up, in a uniquely Nova Scotian way by using collaboration and innovation to attract the attention of the world, create good jobs and grow the economy.”

With 130 full-time employees in Nova Scotia, Lockheed Martin will provide engineering design elements, production drawings and procurement of major turbine components along with systems testing.

“Lockheed Martin has designed and deployed maritime systems for more than 40 years,” said Tom Digan, Lockheed Martin Canada president. “We will apply our systems engineering, integration and manufacturing expertise to help make tidal energy generation an economically viable reality.”

Tidal turbines work like an underwater wind turbine. Instead of air, the tides’ ebb and flow force the blades to spin, which rotate the turbine and powers an electrical generator.

A public/private partnership funded by the Nova Scotian and Canadian governments, Encana Corporation and others, FORCE enables developers, regulators, scientists and academics to study the performance and interaction of tidal energy turbines with the Bay of Fundy’s environment.

Learn more


Speaking of the Future: Energy