Western Tidal requests BC coast testing

Western Tidal Holdings, a tidal power marine energy project developer in British Columbia, has applied to the Canadian province for permission to investigate installing undersea turbines to generate power at sites close to Trial Island and Race Rocks.

By K.Steiner-Dicks on Apr 9, 2014

The projects are part of a set of 14 tidal-power projects the Nanaimo-based company is proposing on B.C.’s coast, according to a report made by The Times Colonist.

Last year, the company made similar applications for another site near Race Rocks, as well as sites in Active Pass and a location between Mayne and Pender islands. Those applications are still under review.

Other reports about the company said that the company signed an Investigative Use License Agreement with the Shishalh Nation in January.

In addition to the Shishalh Nation, Western Tidal has worked with and has gained the support for investigation permits of several other First Nation groups in and around the coastal waters of British Columbia.

Shíshálh Nation Chief Garry Feschuk and Council state said in January, “This agreement is a prime example of how shíshálh stewards its land. Through our Lands and Resources Decision-Making Policy, we are ensuring that our resources are protected and that development occurs in a sustainable manner. Western Tidal engaged with the Nation early with the goal of creating collaboration. We applaud them and expect all proponents to follow their example.”

The agreement initiated the building of a constructive working relationship between Western Tidal and the shíshálh Nation. Through the agreement due diligence will be conducted by the shíshálh Nation and Western Tidal. The agreement allows the company to investigate the feasibility of a tidal project in Agamemnon Channel. The Nation and Western Tidal will jointly decide if the project will proceed to the development stage.

The agreement also allows for Western Tidal to hold an investigative use licence for tidal power at Skookumchuck; however, any investigative work or development must be expressly approved by the shíshálh Chief and Council.

Shíshálh Council have championed the benefits of IPPs on behalf of the shíshálh Nation for the past ten years and in doing so made green energy power sources a top priority for First Nations throughout BC.

Shíshálh Council stated, “This agreement is a step in the right direction for both parties. We will now work together, using shíshálh principles for decision-making to ensure that we understand the impacts and to ensure that our resources are protected.”

In 2013, Tribute Resources, a developer of renewable energy projects and natural gas storage in Canada, acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Western Tidal Holdings Inc. Now owned 100% by TRB, WTH will remain active as a private subsidiary registered in British Columbia.

WTH is focused on developing tidal power electrical generation facilities in and around the Gulf Islands of the province of British Columbia. The power will connect to the BC Hydro electrical transmission and distribution networks.

In 2013, WTH reported that it has in excess of 280 MW of early stage tenure applications for tidal power site investigation with the BC government at locations that meet its development and sustainability criteria. British Columbia has over 4,000 MW of estimated tidal resources of which 10 to 20% meet present regulations, environmental and technical conditions.

As a condition of the transaction, TRB agreed to fund the investigative phase of the WTH tidal power sites and the associated capital requirements commencing March 1st, 2013 for a period of twelve months through February 28th , 2014 in the amount of $25,000 each month for a total of $300,000.