“Over the past week technical experts from OpenHydro (Ireland)” working in Nova Scotia, “determined that the tidal turbine’s rotor is not turning. They believe an internal component failure in the generator caused sufficient damage to prevent the rotor from turning,” stated a late afternoon Cape Sharp Tidal Turbine update.
OpenHydro component failure found two months after deployment
This news comes just over two months after the tidal turbine was successfully deployed on July 22nd, in Nova Scotia’s Minas Passage, said to be the Mount Everest of tidal demonstration project sites.
It is a mere eleven days since senior barrister Neil Steen, acting for the 12% minority shareholder group, petitioning for the examinership, told the Irish High Court in Dublin on September 6th, there is “no issue with the technology.”
That might be true, if the technology is not subjected to the harsh marine conditions of the Bay of Fundy’s Minas passage, reputed to have the highest tides in the world.
Too early to determine when the failure happened
“The turbine operated as expected immediately after deployment in July,” states the Cape Sharp Tidal release.
“It is too early to understand when the component failure happened. The team will analyze the information collected from sensors (which the release states are working) on the turbine, and will report whether the turbine could be functional.
Environmental monitoring will continue according to Cape Sharp Tidal
In the meantime, the turbine rotor will remain stationary with the environmental sensors operating. In addition, a FAST platform with hydrophones is collecting data near the turbine. Cape Sharp Tidal will share the findings with regulators as part of ongoing reporting,” states the release.
“While Emera remains a shareholder of Cape Sharp Tidal, we will continue to work closely with the Cape Sharp Tidal team, OpenHydro Technology Canada, Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment, and Department of Energy and Mines and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to ensure continued environmental monitoring and operational control of the turbine.”
No response from DFO, the NS Department of Energy or the NS Department of the Environment has been received on Cape Sharp’s comments regarding environmental monitoring and compliance.
OpenHydro’s future will be heard next in Ireland’s Court of Appeal
“The future of OpenHydro will be determined by the High Court of Ireland,” states the Cape Sharp Tidal release, “but as this process continues Emera will continue to work with the Cape Sharp Tidal Team, OpenHydro Technology Canada and various regulators.”
OpenHydro’s fate could be determined in Dublin’s Court of Appeal, which is where decisions are made when a lawyer makes an appeal of a High Court decision. That is exactly what happened after Neil Steen, senior barrister for OpenHydro’s founders, leading the charge of the minority shareholders to have the examiner’s role overrule that of the liquidators.
On Friday September 7, Justice Creedon told the people in the Irish High Court, “the court refuses the petition.The matter has been heard over two days. OpenHydro has not made any profit at all in fourteen years of existance.”
Counsel Steen, seeking formal confirmation of the appointment of an examiner, then asked for a stay until 5:00pm on Tuesday September 11th, in a last ditch effort to save OpenHydro from liquidation.
On the eleventh hour on September 11th, creeping close to the 5pm deadline, Counsel Steen launched an appeal of Judge Creedon’s decision.
It is set to be heard in the Court of Appeal, in the Four Courts Complex in Dublin, on October 4, 2018.