top of page
PP Picture South.jpg


Nova Innovation is developing a 1.5 MW tidal energy array in Petit Passage: The Nova Tidal Array. The tidal array will be located within the Petit Passage Marine Renewable Energy Area and it will be developed in three 0.5 MW phases.


Turbines will be deployed gradually within each phase so that environmental effects can be carefully monitored. The first 0.5 MW will be further split into two phases to enable deployment and environmental monitoring of a single turbine first (Phase 1a), before the next four turbines are added to the array (Phase 1b). Nova used this carefully managed, phased approach at the world’s first tidal turbine array in Shetland, Scotland. It has helped to demonstrate the reliability and performance of our turbines and build confidence in tidal energy.


Key project stages and frequently asked questions about the project feature below. The FAQs are based on feedback received during public meetings in Sandy Cove, Tiverton, and Freeport in October 2019, and feedback from other stakeholders throughout our ongoing engagement.




Under construction

Petit Passage, Nova Scotia, Canada

1500 kW

Key Project Stages

Key Project Stages.png


  • 1. Where will the tidal turbines be deployed?
    The tidal turbines will be located in Petit Passage in Digby Neck, Nova Scotia. A location of the first turbine can be seen in the project map presented below. The turbine location is based on our site assessment and current understanding of the tidal flow dynamics and the landscape of the seabed. All information gathered from our surveys and assessments is being used to determine the location of the turbines. They will be installed within the green site search area.
  • 2. How many turbines will be deployed?
    Nova Innovation is delivering a 1.5 MW project that will include up to 15 Nova M100-D 100 kW turbines. The project will be developed in three 0.5 MW phases and each phase will consist of five turbines. Turbines will be deployed gradually within each phase, so that environmental effects can be carefully monitored. Nova has used this carefully managed, phased approach at the world’s first tidal turbine array in Shetland, Scotland. It has helped to demonstrate Nova’s environmental credentials, the reliability and performance of our turbines, and build confidence in tidal energy.
  • 3. When will the turbines be deployed?
    Nova is currently arranging the logistics and scheduling necessary for the deployment of its first turbine and will make updates available as developments take shape. As part of our phased approach, we will gather valuable environmental and technical data from the first turbine for 12 months before more turbines are deployed.
  • 4. Why are you deploying a single turbine first?
    Deploying a single turbine first has several benefits: It allows us to gain a better understanding of the site while minimizing risks. It allows us to validate our monitoring plan and equipment and gain a better understanding of the environmental effects of the turbine. It demonstrates the reliability and performance of our turbine.
  • 5. What is the regulatory process?
    Before tidal turbines can be deployed, the project requires permits and approvals from a number of Federal and Provincial government departments. These include: A demonstration permit from the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines; Approval from the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry; Approval from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Approval from Transport Canada; Permission for the construction of the onshore substation. Nova has received a demonstration permit from the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines, and approval from the Department of Lands and Forestry. Discussions are ongoing and we will update this FAQ when other permits and approvals have been secured.
  • 6. What turbines will the project use?
    The project will use the Nova M100-D turbine (shown below). This is the updated direct drive version of Nova’s tried and tested M100 turbines deployed at the Shetland Tidal Array in Scotland. Nova M100-D Key Figures: Nameplate capacity: 100 kW Design life: 20+ years Blade / Rotor diameter: up to 8.5 meters/ 28 feet Blade / Rotor speed: 15 to 25 rpm Mounting: gravity seabed base Cut-in tidal speed: 0.8 m/s Rated tidal speed: 2.2 m/s Each Nova M100 tidal turbine consists of the following: A steel turbine nacelle unit, which contains the drivetrain and power conditioning The fibreglass blades, which are connected to the nacelle with a steel rotor hub A steel gravity base substructure with precast concrete ballast blocks to secure it to the seabed. Each turbine has two blades, this allows for safe handling of the turbine on vessel decks during operations and enables the use of small, low-cost vessels and expanded working weather windows. The blades are bidirectional blades. This means the turbine does not need to turn when the tide turns. It also means the turbine does not have a pitch or a yaw mechanism, something that increases reliability. The pictures below provide an overview of the turbine layout and dimensions.
  • 7. How many homes can one turbine power?
    One turbine can power up to 40 average Canadian homes per year.
  • 8. What is the carbon offset of a turbine?
    One turbine can offset up to 395 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per year. That is the same as 85 cars.
  • 9. How are the turbines installed?
    We are working with local experts in Petit Passage to fully understand how best to install the tidal turbines. We recognise that local fishermen are very knowledgeable about the conditions in the passage and welcome the opportunity to learn from this experience. Based on our experience of installing turbines in similar sites (Shetland), the sequence of installation operations will be as follows: The onshore control building and electrical substation will be constructed. The steel substructure and concrete ballast will be towed in the water from a local harbour, to the installation location using a workboat. Once in position on site, the structure will be lowered through the water column into position on the seabed. The power cable will be installed using standard industry methods for cable laying, with the cable lay vessel holding position, spooling out cable and moving along the cable route as required. It may be necessary to temporarily use some cable pulling and handling equipment onshore. Once all the other elements of the system are in place, the turbine nacelle can be installed. This would be carried or towed from a local harbour to the installation location by a workboat and lowered onto the substructure, where it would be secured for operation. Previous deployments have taken less than seven days to complete all offshore works. Once installed, there will be a period of commissioning where the operation of the tidal turbines will be tested and any remediation work (including recovery and redeployment operations) could be undertaken if required.
  • 10. What type of boats will be used to deploy the turbines?
    The foundation structure is designed to be installed and removed using regular workboats. The small size and modular structure of Nova’s M100-D turbine mean that all of the system components – the substructure, ballast, subsea cable and turbine nacelle – can be installed and maintained using multi-category (“multicat”) workboats of less than 30m overall length. Larger anchor handlers and offshore construction vessels are also capable of carrying out these operations but are rarely the most cost-effective option.
  • 11. Maintenance
    As part of the maintenance of the turbines, the turbines will need to be removed occasionally. Based on experience in Shetland, Nova anticipates that once the array is fully up and running, each turbine will need to be removed once every two years for maintenance. Depending on the weather, removing or redeploying a turbine can be swiftly done in a single slack water period.
  • 12. What is the impact of the turbines on the Environment?
    Ensuring that our turbines do not harm the marine environment is incredibly important to Nova. Environmental impact considerations, including impact on fish and other marine life, are a key part of the consenting and design process. At our Shetland site in Scotland, we have carried out environmental monitoring over the past seven years to ensure that our turbines do not harm marine wildlife. This includes: Regular surveys of marine mammals and seabirds where our turbines are located Filming the underwater environment using video cameras attached to each of our turbines. This monitoring helps us understand how marine wildlife behaves around our turbines. We have carried out approximately 1,500 hours of marine mammal and seabird surveys and gathered over 10,000 hours of underwater video footage. No negative environmental effects or interactions between marine wildlife and our turbines have been detected from this extensive monitoring. A similar monitoring approach will be taken for the project in the Petit Passage. The monitoring system will be designed based on feedback from local people, regulators, and the site assessment surveys we will undertake before the first turbine is installed.
  • 13. Will it affect fishing areas?
    Nova does not want to cause any conflict with existing fishing activity in the area Local engagement and understanding local expertise is important to us. We will work alongside the local fishing industry on the development of the Petit Passage project. The tidal turbines will be installed in the middle of Petit Passage. Based on Nova’s current understanding, no fishing currently takes place in this area. A subsea cable will be laid from the turbines to the shore, with a planned landfall point near the pier on Shore Road, next to the fish plant. We will ensure there is no impact to local fishing vessels.
  • 14. How do you decommission the turbines?
    The process of decommissioning the Nova Tidal Array will largely be the same as the installation, but in reverse. Because of the gravity base substructure, no seabed drilling is required for installation of the turbines. This means all items, including the subsea cable, can easily be recovered from the seabed, without the need for cutting or other intrusive operations. In 2017, Nova decommissioned its first grid-connected turbine, a 30-kW prototype device, which was installed in 2014. The turbine, cables, and all associated material were removed over two days and the site was returned to its original state.
  • 15. What happens with the turbines if you go out of business?
    Nova has posted a financial security with the Province which will be maintained and kept current for the duration of the project as required by the permit. This security would address the costs of removing equipment from Petit Passage.
  • 16. What happens with the Electricity?
    The electricity will be sold to Nova Scotia Power and exported to the Nova Scotia grid.
  • 17. Will you add energy storage?
    While the integration of energy storage with the Shetland Tidal Array has been successful, there are currently no plans to add energy storage to the proposed tidal array in the Petit Passage. This is something we could explore in the future based on the local requirements to provide resilience or backup power.
bottom of page