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At the End of the Line: Approaches for Adding Sustainable Energy to Rural Maritime Communities

Date: November 05, 2013 at 17:49 GMT

Rural maritime communities are often located at the end of the line; adjacent to abundant marine resources but unable to transmit power due to ageing electrical infrastructure designed to transmit power from large thermal power plants. This paper draws experience from communities located adjacent to Grand Passage and Petit Passage, Nova Scotia and could be applied to similar maritime communities such as the Isle of Islay in Scotland. The role of energy developers in these communities extends beyond the direct challenges of harnessing marine energy to supporting local economies and developing energy extraction that is sustainable.
This paper presents a model for the electric power supply required from the grid to meet the demand for fossil fuel replacement, with application to a case study of hybrid marine propulsion for passenger ferries that cross Grand Passage and Petit Passage. Fuel conversion from diesel combustion to power supply by an electric or ammonia hybrid ferry is shown to have a significant effect on available distribution capacity compared to the existing cap of estimated annual minimum load. An initial economic analysis suggests that electric hybrid ferries may be commercially viable at current residential power and diesel cost rates. 

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