Canada’s western-most province, British Columbia, has a long, rugged and beautiful coastline as well as a large island off its coast, Vancouver Island, that is home to about 865,000 people. However, according to Josie Osborne, provincial minister of energy, mines and low-carbon innovation, there are still more than 50 coastal communities that are using diesel generators to supply their homes, businesses and other buildings with power.
That could change if the pilot project, developed by the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) lab at the University of Victoria to harness tidal power can demonstrate success. PRIMED just received $2 million in funding from “the province’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) fund to advance the proposed Blind Channel Test Centre”.
Smaller projects like this one for Blind Channel are an opportunity to try something that is less expensive and quicker to implement.
Although this system is not expected to go fully online till early 2025 it is a certainty that many in the area will be watching closely to see if this could be a way to allow their communities to move away from fossil fuels for their energy needs.