Country Reports

Launched in 2011, the Canadian Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap, continues to be the primary strategy and action plan for wave, in-stream tidal, and river current energy in Canada. Progress is being made in achieving actions and goals identified by the roadmap, with industry and researchers implementing various activities out of necessity to advance the sector.

While not specific to marine renewable energy, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments established the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change, which addresses key areas for meeting emission reduction targets, driving innovation, and advance climate change adaptation. The Framework is an umbrella to many of the programs and policies that support renewable energy development in Canada, and therefore, it plays a key role in the marine renewable energy sector. Various marine renewable energy research and project development is taking place across Canada, but the hub of activity for the sector continues to be in tidal energy on the Atlantic coast in the province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Strategy (2012) continues to be implemented, providing pathways and support for demonstration to commercial development of the sector.

The province of British Columbia, on the Pacific coast of Canada, has also been spearheading an effort to establish a roadmap for marine renewable energy development. British Columbia’s Ministry of Energy & Mines and Petroleum Resources worked with the University of Victoria’s West Coast Wave Initiative to develop a roadmap that would support a vision for a scientific and technology hub dedicated to advance the level of understanding, innovation, and business of marine-to-wire renewable energy. Release of the roadmap is forthcoming.

At the federal level, Natural Resources Canada has been conducting broad stakeholder engagement for the development of a legislative framework for offshore renewable energy. The legislative framework will cover renewable energy projects in federal offshore areas.

At the provincial level, the Government of Nova Scotia introduced its Marine Renewable-energy Act in 2015, to provide a clear and efficient process to support the sustainable growth of the sector. In the fall 2017, amendments to Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable-energy Act were introduced, aimed at allowing for the demonstration of in-stream tidal energy technology in additional areas of the Bay of Fundy – outside of the FORCE berths. The amendments provide a new development pathway, allowing for new entrants into Nova Scotia’s tidal energy market, with the flexibility to propose a range of project sizes so long as they are 5 MW or less. Under the amendments, a new permit system will be put in place for demonstration permits up to 5 MW, with no more than 10 MW of total power authorized under the Act.

Under the recent amendments to Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Act, projects that receive a permit can also receive a power purchase agreement (PPA) of up to 15 years at a price set by the Minister of Energy. Any utility in Nova Scotia will be required to procure all electricity under the PPA. Developers with projects at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) – Minas Tidal Limited Partnership, Black Rock Tidal Power, Atlantis Operations Canada, Halagonia Tidal Energy Limited, and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture – have approvals for Nova Scotia’s Development feed-in tariff (FIT) for 53 cents/kWh and allows them to enter into a 15-year power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power, the provincial electric utility. Under Nova Scotia’s community-based feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program, Digby Gut Limited Partnership has one approval and Fundy Tidal Inc. has two approvals for the COMFIT rate of 65.2 cents/kWh for devices in-stream tidal devices under 500 kW to be connected at the distribution level.

The province of Ontario FIT Program continues to include waterpower projects, including river hydrokinetic. Projects must have an electricity generating capacity between 10 kW and 5500 kW. The FIT offers a 40 years contract with a rate of 24.6 cents/kWh.


The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change along with the federal government’s 2017 Budget, included a number of programs that could support marine renewable energy development:

  • $21.9 billion through the Green Infrastructure Fund (including millions for clean energy in remote communities and emerging renewable energy commercialization - more details below);
  • $1.4 billion in increased financing support for clean technology available through the Business Development Bank (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC);
  • $400 million over five years to recapitalize the SD Tech Fund led by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC);
  • $200 million over four years to support clean technology research, and the development, demonstration and adoption of clean technology in Canada’s natural resources sector to Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (more details below);
  • $1.26 billion to a five-year Strategic Innovation Fund;
  • $21.4 million over four years starting in 2018-19 to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to support the deployment of renewable energy projects in communities that rely on diesel.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has been leading the development of a number of new targeted national programs with relevance to marine renewable energy, including:

  • Clean Growth in Natural Resources Program: Budget of $155M over 4 years to support clean technology research, development and demonstrations in Canada’s natural resource sectors in the areas of energy, mining, and forestry.

    As part of this program, NRCan has also established the Clean Growth Collaboration Community, an online platform tool that allows post-secondary institutions, utilities, the private sector, and the public sector to connect with Provincial/Territorial Departments, Federal Research Centres, and other stakeholders to discuss opportunities that could be supported by the Clean Growth Program.
  • Emerging Renewable Power Program: Budget of $200 million over 5 years, under the Green Infrastructure Fund, with an objective to support the deployment of emerging renewable energy technologies not yet commercially established in Canada. The funding is aimed at supporting deployment of utility-scale renewable energy projects using technologies, which have not yet been deployed commercially in Canada, and expanding the portfolio of commercially-viable, investment-ready technologies available.
  • Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program: Budget of $220M over six years (starting in 2018/19) under the Green Infrastructure Fund, with an objective of reducing reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities and industrial sites by supporting the transition to more sustainable energy solutions.

Nova Scotia’s Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) collaborated with Nova Scotia Department of Energy and NRCan to develop a $1.25 million research call addressing knowledge gaps and challenges associated with tidal energy development in Canada. The funding included $1M from NRCan and $125,000 from Nova Scotia Department of Energy and OERA.

Innovacorp, a Nova Scotia organization with a mandate to identify, fund, and foster innovative start-ups, developed three ocean technology funding programs with applicability to marine renewable energy:

  • Demo at Sea Program: Allows Nova Scotia companies to demonstrate pre-commercial ocean technologies in a real-life setting. The program provided access to the Flume Tank at the Marine Institute in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and FORCE’s Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) Platform, which enables testing and demonstration in high flow environments.
  • Early Adopter Program: Provides Nova Scotia ocean technology companies with up to $20,000 each towards the first deployment and testing of a product with an early adopter customer.
  • OceanTech Development Program: Provides Nova Scotia companies with up to $20,000 each to address short-term milestones in their technology development plan.

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, British Columbia and the Government of Canada have agreed to work together to spur the development and commercialization of new technologies that will reduce emissions and create jobs for Canadians. In April, the governments of British Columbia (BC) and Canada partnered to establish a $40 million joint fund with contributions from BC’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The funding available through this joint fund will leverage federal, provincial and private sector investments. The $20-million provincial contribution comes from the ICE Fund. The federal contribution will be provided through the SD Tech Fund, managed by SDTC.

The parties will conduct a joint call over a three-year continuous intake period to seek out clean-energy projects and technologies that will mitigate or avoid provincial greenhouse gas emissions, including prototype deployment, field testing and commercial-scale demonstration projects.



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.


Canada has wave, tidal, and river current energy resources spanning the country. As a result of the opportunities presented by developing these resources, there are test sites available to support research and development of each marine renewable energy technology:

The Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) is Canada’s leading research center for in-stream tidal energy, located in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. FORCE works with developers, regulators, and researchers to study the potential for tidal turbines to operate within the Bay of Fundy. As part of its mandate, FORCE has undergone baseline environmental studies, environmental effects monitoring, and applied research since 2009. In addition, FORCE created the Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) program to advance efforts to monitor and characterize the FORCE site and improve marine operating methodologies to support research and turbine-related operations.

FORCE hosts five technology developers at its site and provides subsea and onshore electrical infrastructure to deliver power to the grid. The five developers have been awarded and have received feed-in tariff approvals from the Province of Nova Scotia, totaling 22 MW to be developed at the FORCE test site. In 2017, Cape Sharp Tidal successfully disconnected and recovered its 2 MW OpenHydro turbine from the FORCE site. This was the first grid-connected tidal turbine to operate at the FORCE site. Cape Sharp is currently inspecting and upgrading the turbine and intends to redeploy in 2018. Other developers scheduled for testing at the FORCE site include Minas Tidal, Black Rock Tidal Power, Atlantis Operations Canada, and Halagonia Tidal Energy (DP Energy).

The Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre (CHTTC) in Manitoba allows turbine developers to test turbine prototypes and increase their technology readiness level. In 2017, CHTTC tested and connected the redesigned New Energy Corporation’s 25 kW device to the Manitoba Hydro grid in preparation for deployment at Sagkeeng First Nation. The project experienced delays due to certification issues for the marine power cable and the low frequency power electronics. CHTTC also conducted long-term flow measurements and improved on the filtering of ADV data to characterize energetic river flows. Support was also provided to companies developing marine turbines. As an important step to develop a Canadian resource map of potential energetic sites near remote communities reliant on diesel, in collaboration with NRCan, CHTTC used RadarSat II to capture radar images of four Indigenous communities. An autonomous data acquisition system funded by NRCan was developed to remotely monitor the 25 kW New Energy turbine powered by the turbine and solar panels.


The College of the North Atlantic (CNA) operates the Wave Environment Research Centre (WERC) in Lord’s Cove on the south coast of the island of Newfoundland. The Centre was established to conduct research in the development of a wave-powered water pump coupled to a novel shore-based aquaculture system. Currently, there are six fully permitted mooring sites (at depths of 6 to 30 m) available within 1.5 km from shore. The site has collected more than three years of weather and wave environment data. In 2017, WERC conducted sea trials of its wave pump, a device intended to provide a flow of sea water to an onshore aquaculture farm. Over the last 6 years of developing the project, it has engaged over 200 college and university students and over 20 scientists, technicians and faculty. WERC recently upgraded its wave measurement capability with a second Nortec AWAC and telemetry system, while Rutter Inc. has deployed extensive radar-based wave measurements at the site.

Atmocean, a US-based wave energy developer, deployed its wave powered pump at WERC for a month of preliminary testing, and NRG Systems is currently evaluating the marine durability of several of its meteorological sensors.


WERC’s Wave pump being prepared for deployment


The 20 MW Annapolis Royal tidal barrage power plant was commissioned in 1984 and continues to operate today. It is owned and operated by Nova Scotia Power (a subsidiary of the utility company EMERA). Annapolis Royal is the only commercial tidal power plant in North America.

Cape Sharp Tidal installed the first of their two turbines into the Minas Passage at the FORCE site in Nova Scotia in 2016, resulting in $33 million of investment in the local supply chain during building and installation phases. The turbine was retrieved in June 2017 to allow for upgrades to its turbine control center (TCC).

This was the first time OpenHydro’s pioneering TCC technology has been used anywhere in the world, an important step in advancing the ability to generate electricity from multiple turbines at sea and export to shore via a single export cable.

Plans are underway for Cape Sharp’s next deployment and a demonstration array of two interconnected 2 MW turbines. Since the turbine deployment, Cape Sharp and FORCE have issued three environmental monitoring reports based on their Environmental Effects Monitoring Programs (EEMP).


Cape Sharp Tidal’s 2 MW turbine in port after successful recovery.

Mavi Innovations is approaching full commissioning of its Mi1 floating tidal turbine at Blind Channel Resort and Marina in British Columbia, aimed at offsetting the operator’s use of diesel fuel. The turbine is integrated into the existing diesel network, along with an additional smart diesel gen-set and battery storage. In June, Mavi installed its mooring system, lay the cable, and began work to commission the hybrid power system. Mavi will be working with project partners including the University of Manitoba to measure the performance and assess the feasibility of this hybrid tidal power system.
Mavi Innovations’ Mi1 floating tidal turbine at Blind Channel, British Columbia


New Energy Corporation partnered with Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba to install a 25 kW hydrokinetic turbine in the Winnipeg River. In July, work commenced to test the turbine and installation will begin in early 2018.

In partnership with CHTTC and Natural Resources Canada/ CanmetENERGY, this project is fully equipped to monitor the turbine performance.

New Energy Corporation turbine preparing for commissioning at Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba.

Many Canadian technology developers have also been working with international partners and have deployed their technologies in other countries.

In the Bay of Fundy, there are several in-stream tidal energy planned deployments at the FORCE site, with five technology developers planning deployments between 2018 and 2019 who have received approvals from the Government of Nova Scotia: Cape Sharp Tidal, with the project’s next deployment planned for 2018; Black Rock Tidal Power, up to 5.0 MW in 2019; Minas Tidal Limited Partnership, up to 4.0 MW with deployment beginning in 2018/19; Atlantis Operations Canada, up to 4.5 MW with deployments beginning in 2019; and Halagonia Tidal Energy, up to 4.5 MW with deployments beginning in 2019.

Additional technology and project developers are pursuing opportunities in Nova Scotia and British Columbia:

  • Following their successful test of the Kinetic Keel technology in the Bay of Fundy, Big Moon Power continues to improve their design. Big Moon has made some important strides to lower costs and produce an end product that can compete across all renewable energy spectrums. Big Moon is aiming to deploy its technology in Nova Scotia with a commercial scale demonstration project mid-way through 2018.
  • Jupiter Hydro has partnered with Hatch, a Canadian Engineering company, to test and prove functionality of its in-stream tidal technology with the future intention of building and deploying two 2.5 MW turbines for potential deployment in Nova Scotia.
  • Yourbrook Energy Systems completed its initial pilot project with its small-scale tidal prototype (up to 80 kW) in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. The data collected supports the methodology applied to the technology and the prototype is now going to be upgraded for use in a scaled demonstration project, aimed at supporting future commercialization.
  • As a result of the successful deployments in 2016 and 2017, NeptuneWAVE (formerly Mermaid Power Corporation) pursued further approvals and now has an investigative use license for the testing of its 200 kW Neptune 5 wave energy device in Georgia Strait, British Columbia in early 2018.


IEC TC 114
Canada has been actively engaged in the standards development process for marine renewable energy since the inception of the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 114 (IEC TC114) in 2007, which is the international standards organization for marine and river hydrokinetic energy. The Canadian Standards Mirror Committee/TC114, in collaboration with external partners, has completed 11 research projects investigating key questions to support standard development in wave energy, tidal energy, and river hydrokinetic energy systems. In the last year, there have been several developments including two new standards published relating to enhanced wave resource assessment and design requirements, bringing the total number of standards published to 8. Another draft standard on guidance for wave energy prototype development is in final stage of voting for publication. In addition, a new team was formed to begin drafting a standard on measurement of mechanical loads.

In 2016, Marine Renewables Canada entered into a MOU with Marine Energy Wales and over the course of 2017, the associations have been working very closely under this MOU – sharing information and knowledge about the sector, participating in joint webinars, and participating in respective conferences. The MOU marks an important step towards positive collaboration between the two countries and joint activities are in planning for 2018.

The Marine Renewables Canada Annual Conference will be held November 21-22, 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


At the federal level, there is no existing marine spatial planning policy for ocean energy. Spatial planning for ocean energy takes place only in the province of Nova Scotia.

Pre-selected areas for tidal current energy development have been selected in the province of Nova Scotia, in the Bay of Fundy.

Site selection was determined, in-part, by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on tidal energy development in the Bay of Fundy (FORCE). Resource assessments were also considered as part of the site selection. Another area in Nova Scotia that recently underwent a SEA is Cape Breton Island, inclusive of the Bras d’Or Lakes.

The Oceans Act, Canada’s Oceans Strategy, and the Policy and Operational Framework for Integrated Management of Estuarine, Coastal and Marine Environments in Canada provide the policy framework and guide Canada’s approach to oceans management. Integrated Management efforts in Canada are being undertaken through an area-based approach that supports marine planning, management and decision-making at appropriate spatial scales, from regional to site-specific.

The authorities involved in the consenting process are:

• Federal authorities: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, Environment Canada, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Employment and Social Development Canada, Public Works and Government Services, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

• Province of Nova Scotia: Department of Energy, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Department of Environment, Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Office of Aboriginal Affairs.

• Members of Nova Scotia’s Federal/Provincial One Window Committee on Tidal Energy:

- Federal: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Environment Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada;

- Provincial: Energy, Natural Resources, Aboriginal Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Labour and Advanced Education, Environment, Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

Within the province of Nova Scotia, the Department of Energy is responsible for managing the consenting process through a “one window committee” process, consisting of federal and provincial government departments/agencies with an interest in the marine environment and ocean energy.

At the federal level, authorizations required prior to the approval of marine renewable energy projects include land use, project activities, transmission, occupational health and safety, operational safety, environmental protection and navigation.

At the provincial level, in Nova Scotia projects are not able to proceed in an area that has not undergone a SEA.

At FORCE testing site, projects must be approved by the Minister of Energy and are selected through a competitive Request for Proposal process.

A key piece to Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Act is the creation of a licensing and permitting system that will oversee the development of marine renewable energy projects. Any generator proceeding in a priority area without an approval will be in violation of the Act. A license will allow a project developer to carry out the business of extracting energy within a ‘marine renewable-electricity area’ (i.e., an area designated for development) through single or multiple devices. A permit will be issued to a temporary deployment of a device for the purposes of testing and demonstration. This system will ensure that projects proceed only after undergoing a thorough review by the Government and subject to effective Government oversight and monitoring.

The Canadian version of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), is typically required for projects.

A federal Environmental Assessment is required for tidal current projects 50 MW or greater. Tidal current projects less than 50 MW do not require a federal Environmental Assessment. If the tidal current project is located on federal lands (i.e. the federal seabed), then a federal Environmental Analysis is required. Tidal current projects less than 50 MW and located on provincial lands (i.e. the provincial seabed), are only subject to a provincial Environmental Assessment. In Nova Scotia, a provincial Environmental Assessment is required for tidal current projects greater than 2 MW. Projects can be subject to Environmental Assessments below these thresholds at either the federal or provincial level, subject to Ministerial discretion.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is the federal authority responsible for a federal Environmental Assessment.

Environmental Assessments usually require ongoing environmental effects monitoring throughout the lifecycle of a project.

There is no legislation or regulations designed solely for the licensing of renewable energy activity in the offshore.
Nova Scotia’s Electricity Act and Renewable Electricity Regulations outline two paths for the development of tidal energy projects: at a community level and large-scale R&D level. The Regulations outline a comprehensive application process that projects must undergo in order to receive one of two feed-in tariff rates.

In 2011, Canada’s Federal Government established the Marine Renewable Energy Enabling Measures program to develop and present to Cabinet, by March 2016, a federal policy framework for administering marine renewable energy activities.

The Government of Nova Scotia passed the Marine Renewable Energy Act in 2015, which applies to Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy and the Bras d’Or lakes. This legislation ensures that marine renewable energy projects, including in-stream tidal, tidal range, offshore wind, wave and ocean currents, are developed in a manner that respects the environment and the interests of local communities; ensures increased consultation and provides for the safe, responsible and strategic development of the industry; and establishes a licensing and permitting system for the placement of marine renewable energy generators in those areas.

Consultations can occur as part of the SEA process.

Nova Scotia also undergoes engagement with stakeholders, ratepayers, and taxpayers primarily at the SEA stage, but also throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Statutory consultation required:

At the federal level, the Government of Canada has a legal duty to consult Aboriginal people when there are potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights that may be adversely impacted by a contemplated Crown conduct, such as a marine renewable project approval.

Like the Government of Canada, the Government of Nova Scotia has a duty to consult with the First Nations of Nova Scotia, the Mi’kmaq.

Informal consultation activities:

There are two cooperative mechanisms for Canada and Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq consultation—the Canada-Nova Scotia Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Consultation Cooperation and the tri-partite Mi’kmaq/Nova Scotia/Canada Consultation Terms of Reference (TOR).

The Nova Scotia Department of Energy leads an Energy Consultation Table with the participation of federal authorities and the Mi'kmaq where provincial energy issues are discussed.

The One Window Committee, along with the Province of Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Strategy provide guidance to developers on potential permits/approvals, and review processes.

The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) has an approved Environmental Assessment for its full site, inclusive of its four deployment berths. As such, developers at the site do not have to undergo individual EAs. Developers are still required to provide applications to other relevant regulatory agencies.