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Emera plans to produce power from Bay of Fundy tides by the end of this year

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The president of Emera (TSX:EMA) says the energy company will have two underwater turbines generating power from the tides of the Bay of Fundy by the end of the year.

Chris Huskilson says the turbines will be built in Nova Scotia, and the contract for their construction will be announced within the next few weeks.

Speaking at Emera’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Saint John, N.B., Huskilson said each of the turbines will generate about two megawatts of electricity.

He said it could be two decades before installing the 150 turbines that would be needed to generate 300 megawatts of power.

The turbines will be installed near Parrsboro, N.S.

Nova Scotia Power tested an OpenHydro turbine in 2009 but it was heavily damaged by the Bay of Fundy’s powerful currents.

Huskilson said they now have a better understanding of the power of the bay, and the unit has been redesigned.

He said OpenHydro’s parent company — DCNS — is standing behind the design.

“They are guaranteeing that this will work for us. They are a very big company with a very strong balance sheet, so that is part of how we are assured it will work,” he said.

He said 70 per cent of the construction work will be done in the Maritimes, with the majority of that work being done in Nova Scotia.

Huskilson said once the technology is proven in Nova Scotia, local companies should be able to then market it elsewhere around the world.