A clean energy project located northeast of Campbell River is getting a boost from the provincial government.
The province says $2 million will be invested in UVic’s Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery’s (PRIMED) Blind Channel Test Centres on West Thurlow Island.
The project is investigating tidal turbines and other renewable energy sources like wind, solar and low-carbon hydrogen, according to the government. According to the university, the goal is to provide proof of a concept that can be replicated in remote, coastal communities anywhere there is a desire to get clean energy.
“B.C.’s coast is blessed with an abundance of renewable tidal power resources that can be harnessed for a clean energy future,” said UVic department of mechanical engineering chair and PRIMED co-director Brad Buckham.
“Working collaboratively with supportive partners in the public and private sectors, our role at UVic is to design the technology that will lead us to achieving this vision.”
They add the island is a good test ground because of its location with ocean currents and because of a variety of amenities including a marina, refuelling station and post office are on it with the Blind Channel Resort.
The resort is welcoming the partnership as they are trying to transition away from relying on diesel fuel for energy.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to help facilitate tidal energy technology development,” said Richter. “With public support, tidal energy has the potential to become a viable, clean energy solution for small communities like ours and significantly reduce our carbon footprint.”
The province adds the project could help many coastal communities transition away from relying on diesel.
“British Columbia has one of the longest and most beautiful coastlines in the world, but more than 50 coastal communities still depend on polluting fossil fuels for heat, light, transportation and industry,” said minister of energy, mines, and low carbon innovation Josie Osborne.
“The University of Victoria’s Blind Channel Test Centre is an innovator in using renewable energy sources like tides, wind and solar, and I‘m so pleased to see this partnership and how it’s helping communities reduce their carbon footprint and protect our oceans for future generations.”
North Island MLA Michele Babchuk adds communities on the North Island feel a deep connection to the ocean and a responsibility to take care of it.