Japan’s K Line Invests in Canadian Tidal Energy Project
In a first-of-its-kind project for Japanese companies, shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (”K” LINE) and Chubu Electric Power Co. are investing in a renewable energy project planned for Nova Scotia, Canada. It will mark the first time a Japanese company has participated in an overseas tidal energy project, and it is seen as an opportunity for the companies to diversify, building their operations in the renewable energy segment.
Known as Uisce Tapa (Gaelic for “fast water”), the tidal energy project is under development by DP Energy, a renewable energy company headquartered in Ireland. Study work has been ongoing and this summer a monitoring platform will be deployed. Subject to regulatory approval and a final investment decision, the first of the turbines is scheduled to be installed and commissioned in 2023. The second and third turbines would be installed in 2026.
The location for the project is in the northeastern area of the Bay of Fundy. The bay is home to some of the highest tides in the world, with tidal currents capable of exceeding 10 knots (5 m/s) at peak surface speed. The project design calls for the installation of three turbines fixed to the seabed. Each turbine has an 18.4-meter diameter rotor and rated power of 1.5 MW. The turbine is a horizontal axis, three-bladed tidal turbine, similar to turbines the company installed at a site developed in Scotland. The design represents the next generation in seabed mounted tidal turbine development, incorporating a number of new features to customize elements of the device for operation in the Bay of Fundy. According to DP energy, the turbines will deliver predictable renewable power with an operational design life of 25 years.
“Through this project, “K” LINE aims to contribute to the business that supports the decarbonization of society while utilizing our experiences accumulated in the field of international marine transportation together with partner companies,” said Satoshi Kanamori, Executive Officer, in charge of LNG, Carbon-Neutral Promotion at “K” LINE.
The current agreement is for the development cost of the project. After the completion of the current studies, a final investment decision is expected from the companies.
The project at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) site is already well advanced and testing is underway for the project’s environmental monitoring platform.