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B.C. invests $2M into ocean energy research at remote resort off Vancouver Island

B.C. Energy Minister Josie Osborne is pictured at the PRIMED lab. (Province of B.C./Flickr) B.C. Energy Minister Josie Osborne is pictured at the PRIMED lab. (Province of B.C./Flickr)

The provincial government has provided $2-million in funding for a research project that will provide renewable energy for a remote island resort off Vancouver Island.

The University of Victoria Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) will develop a first of its kind tidal energy system at Blind Channel Resort on West Thurlow Island, located 35 kilometres northeast of Campbell River.

"British Columbia has one of the longest and most beautiful coastlines in the world, but more than 50 coastal communities still depend on polluting fossil fuels for heat, light, transportation and industry," said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

"The University of Victoria's Blind Channel Test Centre is an innovator in using renewable energy sources like tides, wind and solar, and I'm so pleased to see this partnership and how it's helping communities reduce their carbon footprint and protect our oceans for future generations," she added.

The project will compare these new technologies and test how they perform in conditions on the West Coast, one of the most energetic tidal and wave climates in the world.

The expectation of PRIMES’s project is to support the diversification of B.C.'s marine power sector, create clean-tech jobs, and create innovations that can be adopted by coastal communities around the world to support the transition to clean energy.

"Innovative renewable energy projects have the potential to change the world and partnerships are the key to making it happen," said Lisa Kalynchuk, vice-president of research and innovation at the University of Victoria.

"This project takes a novel, community-focused approach to catalyzing energy independence in rural and remote communities throughout B.C. and beyond," she said.

The nearly 20-year-old PRIMED research lab has been recognized internationally for its work helping off-grid coastal communities and industries find marine renewable energy alternatives to diesel-fuelled power generation.

"Marine renewable technology has incredible potential as a source for clean energy, and B.C. will benefit from investing in the development of wind, wave and tidal energy technologies right here on the West Coast," said B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman.

"This funding will help continue the incredible and important work of UVic's PRIMED to develop clean energy technologies for coastal communities and further our electrification plans." Top Stories

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