The provincial electric utility on Canada’s west coast will commission a study to assess the tidal and ocean currents near Vancouver Island.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – BC Hydro will contract with Blue Energy to begin an assessment of the ocean energy resources on and around Vancouver Island. The work will be done under the auspices of the Vancouver Island Green Energy Study initiated by the utility to evaluate potential renewable energy sources. Blue Energy will work with Triton Environmental Consultants of Richmond, to provide an overview of potential sites for tidal and ocean current energy generation. In fulfilling the two companies will specifically evaluate Quatsino Narrows on northern Vancouver Island. “The overview is an important first step for Hydro to undertake,” says Blue Energy president and CEO Martin Burger. “Preliminary engineering data identifies that B.C.has ocean energy resources akin to a Saudi Arabian oil field.” He says the utility wants to evaluate the renewable energy resource from the ocean as part of its efforts to avoid the risk of earthquakes that can rupture gas pipelines, rising natural gas prices, rising energy consumption and an urgent need to curb greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel-burning energy plants to mitigate global warming. This winter, the Science & Technology Committee of the British Parliament called for a comprehensive inquiry into ocean energy. Since the 1980s, Britain has invested more than C$100 million to evaluate ocean energy generating and manufacturing opportunities for that country, says Burger. Blue Energy submitted a report in January to the British ‘Ocean Energy Inquiry’ after being invited by the Parliament to do so. It urged B.C. Premier Dosanjh last month to investigate ocean energy potential for British Columbia.