The federal government has turned its attention to tidal energy as a potential economic boost for the Atlantic provinces.

Rob Moore, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced Wednesday the government will study the potential economic benefits of developing a marine energy source. In a release, the government says the potential revenue could reach billions of dollars.

“Our ocean technology and offshore energy industries are significant generators of jobs and economic growth both in Atlantic Canada and across the country,” Moore said in a statement.

The government is spending $180,000 on the study, which will be led by the Offshore Energy Research Association. The results are scheduled to be released at a conference on ocean energy in Halifax in November, 2014.

Stephen Dempsey, executive director of the OERA, said the study will help attract new investments.

The government says Atlantic Canada is well-positioned to be a world leader in the tidal energy sector, but it has proven to be challenging in the Bay of Fundy. In 2009, Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro placed a $10 million turbine into the bay.  It was chewed up by the powerful currents in less than a month.

Alstom, a company from France, plans to deploy its own turbine in two years.

The estimated energy potential of the Fundy region alone is upwards of 60,000 megawatts of energy, of which up to 2,500 megawatts may be safely extracted.