Canada backs wind and tidal innovators

Innovative wind turbine generator technology and a re-engineered tidal-turbine concept were among the winners in a C$61.8m ($61m) funding round from the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) SD Tech Fund.

Quebec’s Eocycle – working with wind power giant Suzlon – received a $6m grant from the government-backed R&D body to refine its transverse flux permanent-magnet generator, a cost-cutting high torque, low speed technology that eliminates the need for a conventional multi-stage gearbox.

A consortium made up of the Canadian arm of UK-based tidal turbine developer Atlantis Resources, industrial conglomerate Lockheed Martin and shipbuilders Irving was given $5m to fine-tune its existing ARC1000 machines, already trialled at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland, with features for improved seabed anchoring and current-responsive rotor blades.

“Our government is doing its part to encourage innovation and the next wave of clean technologies to help protect our environment and create high-quality jobs,” says minister of natural resources Joe Oliver.

SDTC’s Tech Fund has so far supported more than 245 projects with almost $600m.

“These technologies will enable a variety of sectors to increase their share of global markets,” claims SDTC chief executive Vicky Sharpe.

The most recent grants, covering projects in the agriculture, transportation, mining and energy sectors, bring the SDTC’s total project portfolio over the $2bn mark.