PARRSBORO, NS, Nov. 22, 2016 /CNW/ - Nova Scotia homes and businesses are now powered by North America's first in-stream tidal turbine. Cape Sharp Tidal (a partnership between Emera and OpenHydro/DCNS) deployed its two-megawatt (MW) Open-Centre Turbine two weeks ago at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) test site near Parrsboro—and it is now producing Canada's first in-stream tidal energy. This milestone marks a turning point for Canada's renewable energy sector. It is the first time clean, renewable in-stream tidal power has successfully been generated from the Bay of Fundy, and the first time a turbine has been grid-connected at FORCE. The energy will be produced and consumed in Nova Scotia, thanks to the province's Renewable Electricity Regulations and agreements under the Developmental Feed-in Tariff program. The demonstration turbine—designed and manufactured by OpenHydro—uses a fraction of the estimated 7,000 MW potential of the Minas Passage to power the equivalent of about 500 Nova Scotia homes with energy from our tides. A second turbine, planned for deployment in 2017, will make Cape Sharp Tidal one of the largest generating arrays in the world. The completed 4MW demonstration project will displace the need to burn about 2,000 tonnes of coal, and eliminate 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) C02 emissions—the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road each year. This achievement contributes to Nova Scotia's over-achievement on national GHG reduction goals. Nova Scotia expects to reach between 43 and 46 percent reductions from 2005 by 2030. Significant investments in Nova Scotia's tidal sector FORCE has invested $30 million in onshore and offshore electrical infrastructure to allow demonstration turbines to connect to the power grid. In total, more than 125 organizations contributed to the creation of the FORCE facility and its research and monitoring programs. More than 90 percent of these are from Nova Scotia, a testament to the region's skills, expertise, and ability to innovate in the ocean sector. Cape Sharp Tidal has invested tens of millions of dollars to develop the local tidal industry and supply chain, and has met its commitment to spend 70 percent of first-phase project costs in Nova Scotia. More than 300 people have been employed on the project in areas such as fabrication, environmental monitoring, engineering, health and safety, marine services and more. Environmental monitoring programs are also underway This year, FORCE has collected additional baseline data on sound, and on fish and marine mammals. Cape Sharp Tidal now begins real time data monitoring from a combination of passive (icListen hydrophones) and active (Tritech Gemini) sonars mounted on the turbine, and from control sites to collect data on operational sound and ocean life interactions with the device. This work will complement additional fish, lobster, marine mammal, seabird and noise studies at FORCE. Monitoring reports will be shared with regulators and the public, and will contribute to a growing international body of research.