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Ottawa to spend $20-million on Nova Scotia tidal energy project Add to ...

The federal government has committed to spending $20-million on tidal energy projects in the Bay of Fundy, a move that will help Canada become a "clean energy superpower," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Sunday.

Mr. MacKay, Nova Scotia's representative in the federal cabinet, said the money will be used by the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy, whose partners include utility Nova Scotia Power Inc., Minas Basin Pulp and Power of Hantsport, N.S., and Alstom, a energy and transportation giant based in France.

The project represents Canada's first deployment of commercial-scale tidal turbines.

"Our government is supporting this tidal project, and others like it, to encourage clean energy innovation and help create high-quality jobs for Nova Scotians," Mr. MacKay said from Parrsboro, N.S., a small town at the east end of the bay, known for having the highest tides in the world.

The partners have also signed an $11-million contract for production and installation of four subsea cables that will connect tidal turbines to the province's electrical grid.

John Woods, the group's chairman, said the system will be built for growth - assuming "tidal technology proves to be both safe and viable in the Bay of Fundy."

The cables, to be installed next year, will give the project the largest offshore transmission capacity of any in-stream tidal energy site in the world, the provincial government said.

Each cable will carry up to 16 megawatts of electricity, enough power for more than 20,000 homes.

The cables will be made by Prysmian Group at its submarine cable facility in Italy.

IT International Telecom Inc. of Pointe-Claire, Que., will complete work for nearly half of the cable contract - $5.3-million - out of its marine depot in Halifax, providing local jobs for up to 100 people.

The Canadian company will manage the project to completion.

"With this announcement, we are creating good jobs, growing the economy and taking another step toward a cleaner environment and more stable electricity prices for Nova Scotians," Premier Darrell Dexter said in a statement.

The money will be taken from the federal government's $795-million Clean Energy Fund, which will be spent over five years.

The federal government is spending about $146-million on nearly 20 renewable and clean energy projects. As well, three carbon capture and storage projects have also been announced, valued at $466-million.

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