FCM’s Green Municipal Fund supports the City of Campbell River’s tidal power study

Campbell River is located on B.C.’s Discovery Passage, an area with high potential for tidal power development

The city took a step closer to powering the Discovery Pier and Maritime Heritage Centre’s lights with electricity generated by Discovery Passage’s tidal currents.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is funding the City of Campbell River’s tidal power feasibility study, the first led by a B.C. municipality.

Hans Cunningham, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and director of the Regional District of Central Kootenay, B.C., and John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, today announced a Green Municipal Fund (GMF) grant for the City of Campbell River. The municipality is using the $55,154 in funding toward a study of the use of tidal power for its Discovery Fishing Pier and Maritime Heritage Museum.

“FCM’s Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments,” said Cunningham. “The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”

“The Government of Canada is assisting municipalities across the country in achieving their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for Canadians through the Green Municipal Fund,” said Minister Duncan. “Today’s announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with FCM — is helping Campbell River build a greener future for our citizens.”

Campbell River is located on B.C.’s Discovery Passage, an area with high potential for tidal power development.

In the first of the study’s three phases, researchers modeled tides and observed conditions at the site. The second phase, now underway, includes in-depth wave analysis to determine potential risks of wave and storm action to tidal turbine equipment. It will also undertake a marine environmental review and habitat mapping, as well as consultation with the appropriate agencies to identify permit requirements. Phase three will be a technology assessment in which researchers will review scale tidal turbines that could be appropriate for the site.

Tidal turbine technology appropriate to the currents, wave height refraction conditions, and tidal patterns at the proposed site will be recommended, based on full-cost accounting and lifecycle analysis.

If tidal power at this site proves feasible, the city will move forward with a small-scale demonstration project to power the lights at the Discovery Fishing Pier and Maritime Heritage Museum. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the site by an estimated 13 tonnes and will demonstrate renewable energy as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

“The City of Campbell River appreciates the support of the Green Municipal Fund for this renewable energy initiative,” said Mayor Charlie Cornfield. “Campbell River aims to become a research and development site for regional tidal power, and this study will provide valuable information for other municipalities interested in this form of green energy.”

The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund. The fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.

FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.

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