The BC Government has announced it’s investing two million dollars into tidal turbines and other renewable resources.
The money will be used by the University of Victoria’s Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery test centre.
It will test and compare renewable technologies as it helps the Blind Channel Resort transition away from using diesel.
The Blind Channel Wilderness Resort is 35 kilometres from Campbell River, located on West Thurlow Island and one of its challenges is meeting its power demands.
“Really to be sustainable in the long run we have to reduce the amount of diesel that we’re using especially as costs keep rising. You know more carbon tax was added on again,” said Eliot Richter, the resort’s President.
This past year the resort spent $100,000 on diesel for power generation, the most it’s spent in a single year.
Six years ago University of Victoria researchers started exploring an alternative, researching tidal power by West Thurlow island.
That’s when a turbine prototype harnessing the ocean’s currents was first installed.
Thanks to provincial funding announced at UVic’s Marine Technology Centre Thursday, they’re set to embark on a project to help transition the resort to renewable energy.
“I’m incredibly pleased to announce two million dollars in provincial support for the University of Victoria’s Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery,” said Josie Osborne, B.C.’s Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister.
The province says 50 remote communities will benefit from the research done here and that the project will be a win-win for our economy and our environment.
The Program’s chair says the funding will expand the university’s marine renewable research that it’s been doing for more than two decades.
“The support that you’ve announced today allows us to take our support of community marine projects to another level. Our field data, the computational tools and the experimental techniques will be applied to create a first-of-its-kind tidal energy-based renewable energy system at the Blind Channel Wilderness Resort,” said Dr. Brad Buckham, UVic’s Chair of Mechanical Engineering.
The president of the resort says he’s keen to move away from fossil fuels as soon as possible and the churning waters are commonly discussed at the resort as an untapped resource that may be crucial to saving the resort’s future.