Nova Scotia

Cost of retrieving Cape Sharp turbine may climb as high as $4.5M, says province

The Nova Scotia government is admitting the cost of retrieving the Cape Sharp tidal turbine will far surpass the $1-million bond it has on hand to get the job done.

Government hopes to have turbine removed within a year

The cost to remove a tidal turbine from the Bay of Fundy is estimated at $4.5 million, according to the province. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

The cost of retrieving a tidal turbine from the Bay of Fundy may climb as high as $4.5 million, says the Nova Scotia government.

The province finally put a dollar figure on the cost on Friday.

The massive Cape Sharp tidal turbine was deployed by an Irish-based company that has abandoned it. Open Hydro put up $1 million for the job.

The province has hired a consultant to find a private company willing to foot the bill in exchange for use of the tidal test site currently occupied by the turbine.

Energy Minister Derek Mombourquette. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Derek Mombourquette, the province's energy minister, said the original $1-million bond was thought to be adequate to remove the turbine, but clearly that's not the case.

"At that time they would have negotiated that based on what they thought when they went in," he said. "We've looked at [what] the estimated costs would be now, today, to remove that."

"That's where the $4.5 million [comes] up."

Mombourquette says the bond amount will ensure there's enough money to get the job done.

"A company could bid and very well come lower than the $4.5M, but what we've said is $4.5M would be the minimum security that we would want companies to put down," he said.

"(It) very well could cost as much as $4.5M but it could cost less than $4.5M."

John Dalton, the president of consulting firm Power Advisory, will be paid at least $100,000 to issue a tender on the province's behalf and evaluate the companies interested in the test berth.

He will have the power to negotiate a purchase agreement and issue a licence to any company willing to pay for the turbine's removal and the installation of the new company's equipment.

Mombourquette said that company will also have to post a bond for its own equipment to make sure the province isn't left in a similar position again.

The province is hoping to have the Cape Sharp turbine out of the water by this time next year.

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