Annapolis Royal Generating Station
|Annapolis Royal Generating Station|
The Annapolis Royal Generating Station viewed at high tide.
Annapolis Royal Generating Station, Nova Scotia
|Location||Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia|
|Owner(s)||Nova Scotia Power|
|Thermal power station|
|Nameplate capacity||20 MW|
|Average generation||50 GWh|
The Annapolis Royal Generating Station is a 20 MW tidal power station located on the Annapolis River immediately upstream from the town of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is the only tidal generating station in North America. The generating station harnesses the tidal difference created by the large tides in the Annapolis Basin, a sub-basin of the Bay of Fundy. Opened in 1984, the Annapolis Royal Generating Station was constructed by Nova Scotia Power Corporation, which was, at the time, a provincial government Crown corporation that was frequently used to socially benefit various areas in the province.
Tidal harnesses to generate electricity had been under discussion for the Bay of Fundy and its various sub-basins for several decades. The decision to build the facility was partly prompted by the promise of federal funding for this alternative energy project, and the existence of a dam built on the Annapolis River in 1960 by the Maritime Marshlands Reclaimation Authority to block the Bay of Fundy tides from entering the river to replace the function of the existing dykes along the river banks. The resulting rock-filled dam carries Trunk 1 across the river, as well as housing the power house and sluice gates.
Charles, Prince of Wales was scheduled to visit the facility via helicopter on 15 June 1983. He was in Halifax during a royal visit to Canada with Diana, Princess of Wales. The inspection was scrapped due to bad weather.
Harm to the environment
The project has had mixed results. While effectively generating electricity, the blocking of water flow by the dam (to allow the tidal difference to accumulate every six hours) has resulted in increased river bank erosion on both the upstream and downstream ends. The dam is also known as a trap for marine life. Two notable cases occurred in:
- August 2004, when a mature Humpback whale (nicknamed Sluice) swam through the open sluice gate at slack tide, ending up trapped for several days in the upper part of the river before eventually finding its way out to the Annapolis Basin.
- Spring 2008, when the body of an immature Humpback whale was discovered near the head of tide in the river at Bridgetown; a post-mortem was inconclusive but suggested the whale had become trapped in the river after following fish through the sluice gates.
- Nova Scotia Power, Annapolis Tidal Station, retrieved 2014-07-31
- http://www.annapolisbasin.com/sys-tmpl/tidalgeneratingstation/ Power station specifications
- Harris, Michael (16 June 1983). "Charles, Diana draw crowd despite drizzle". The Globe and Mail. p. 1.
- "Whale still drawing crowds at N.S. river". The Globe and Mail. Canadian Press. 29 August 2004.
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