Tidal Current Energy Experiment Comes to an End.

September 17, 2011: Clean Current Staff and diving contractors return to Race Rocks to remove the generator for the last time. The generator returns to Vancouver for a final analysis of structural details after exposure in the ocean over the last three years . After cleaning,  it is to be sent to the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, since it was the first ocean tidal generator to be built and deployed in Canada.

“In conclusion: The Tidal Current Generator operation over the past six years has been an interesting experiment and a good demonstration of the potential power from tidal energy.  The added value to the availability of energy for Race Rocks  was however very disappointing.

The mainvalue to the Race Rocks program has been in the infrastructure that has been developed and installed and the potential for further research. The provision now of most of the energy needs by solar power was only made possible by the large bank of storage batteries provided by the project, the island energy building electrical infrastructure and the partnership with the BC Ministry of Mines and energy which were instrumental in providing the initial solar panels.  Installation of further solar panels and upgrades by Lester Pearson College UWC has helped to ensure energy sustainability for Race Rocks.

–Garry Fletcher


Tidal Energy Turbine inspection, June 2011

Chris Blondeau, and a group of Pearson College divers, have made this video to show the life growing on the tower from the bottom to the top. This was before removal of the turbine itself  right at the top later in the year. Because of the unique growth established on this substrate which is 1 metre in diameter and 15 meters from the seabed , we applied to have it remain in location after the turbine was removed. It will provide an ideal structure for succession studies. The video has been cut from 12 minutes to 7 minutes to conserve space.



Race Rocks Tidal Turbine Generator

Connor Scheu and Wouter Zwart April 2, 2009 . Race Rocks Tidal Turbine GeneratorUWCpearsoncollegeicon


Ed note: Connor communicated with Russ Stothers of Clean Current for his project;

“Here is a simple synopsis of the project I will be doing this week. It is called a group four project (which pertains to the experimental science department here at the college), and the theme for everyones project is resource allocation/sustainability. Every student has to decide upon a project in which they will research something in this area. This usually involves the identification of a question, and then variables, presented in a lab format and accompanied by a presentation, but not overly formal. Continue reading

Tidal Current Energy Demonstration Project: Renewable Energy for Race Rocks

Energy Minister.jpg ENCANA Media Press Conference
Press Release:
ENCANA Partners to enable Pearson College- ENCANA – Clean Current Tidal Power Demonstration Project at Race Rocks Feb 25, 2005
Complete Video Coverage of the Announcement at Pearson College TV and Print Media coverage
of the event
BACKGROUNDER: (Link to PDF version of the pressbackgrounder) (Link to PDF version of the Press release)

Stephen HarperPrime Minister Stephen Harper visits Race Rocks and Pearson College for an “ecoEnergy announcement”. January 19, 2007


Environmental Impact Monitoring of the Tidal Energy Project.
Video on Tidal Turbine Project
Video on the Pearson College, EnCana, Clean Current Tidal Power Demonstration Project at Race Rocks
Cable Laying Aug 2006
Update on Activities at Race Rocks on the Pearson College- ENCANA – Clean Current Tidal Power Demonstration Project and the Integrated Energy Project.
link to Taco Niet
History and Background Information
on the Alternate Energy Project at Race Rocks.
abiotic file
Tidal Currents as an Abiotic Factor In the Race Rocks Ecosystem
J de F currents
Strait of Juan de Fuca currents and tides Link
oldenergy Traditional Energy Generation
By Diesel Oil at Race Rocks .
Environmental Impacts of the Existing Diesel Powered Generator
Solar energy investigation
The Solar Energy Component of the Integrated Energy System at Race Rocks
Davis Weather Instrument
the Environmental Data page with links to weather station and underwater physical factors.
Connor Scheu and Wouter Zwart April 2, 2009 the outputs of energy from the system.
turbineinspect Turbine inspection before removal, Jun,2011

Artists Concept


Environmental protection of the Ecological Reserve with the Installation of the Tidal current Generator at Race Rocks

This file provides information on the process used to ensure environmental protection of the Ecological Reserve with the installation of the tidal current generator at Race Rocks.


This file provides information on the process used to ensure environmental protection of the Ecological Reserve with the installation of the tidal current generator at Race Rocks.



1.Permit Application for Research on the Ecological Reserve 2004

2. Appendix A– Energy at Race Rocks : The problems and Solutions:

3. Environmental Impact of Tidal Current Energy Generation on Marine Mammals: Addendum to Clean Current Permit Application: Garry Fletcher.

4. References on the effects of Tidal Energy Generation on Marine Life:

5. Information for the Race Rocks Advisory Board on Alternate Energy Developments In the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve: 2004.

6.Outline of Expectations for a Baseline Study and Follow-up monitoring of the Current Energy Project at Race Rocks:

7. Video of the type of organisms that grow in the area of the turbine site.

8. Pam and Jason of Archipelago Marine Document life forms along the cable path.

9. Video of impact of Concrete Anchor Placement for the Tidal Energy Project

10. Environmental Monitoring at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve related to the Pearson College-Encana-Clean Current Tidal Power Demonstration Project by Pam Thuringer of Archipelago Marine, 2006.

11. Environmental Impact of the Diesel Energy Power generation System at Race Rocks

12. Preliminary Environmental Screening for: Expansion of generator shed for battery storage

:13. Preliminary Environmental Screening for: Installation of Electrical Cable and Conduits at Race Rocks

14. Preliminary Environmental Screening for: Installation of the Piling for the tidal energy generator:. Continue reading

Race Rocks Sustainable Energy System Development

Canadian Hydrogen Conference June 17-21, 2001, Victoria, BC.
Taco Niet, G. McLean
Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, University of Victoria
Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 3P6
Tel: (250) 721-8936 Fax: (250) 721-6323

Race Rocks is a small archipelago located just Southwest of Victoria, British Columbia in the Juan de Fuca Strait. An important Beacon for Coastal Navigation in this busy area is located on Race Rocks, which is also home to a stunning variety of marine mammals and birds. The Race Rocks site has become Canada’s first Marine Protected environment and is now carefully managed by a group of interested partieScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 7.48.10 PMs including Pearson College and The Canadian Coastguard. The environmental integrity of the site is often jeopardised to bring diesel fuel to the site and the noise pollution on the site due to the diesel generators is significant. IESVic has stepped forward to evaluate the potential of renewable energy sources on-site to power a sustainable energy system. A preliminary study was performed as an innovative graduate course at the University of Victoria that exposed students to sustainable energy system design. Our conclusion is that with Tidal currents of up to 3.7 m/s, average winds of 21.6 km/h and large amounts of solar insolation, there are ample renewable resources available on the site to develop a sustainable integrated energy system capable of providing reliable power for the site. Race Rocks is therefore ideally
suited to become a showcase for renewable energy generation. This paper outlines the results of the feasibility study, discusses the opportunities available at Race Rocks and examines the progress to date. Requirements for the implementation of a sustainable energy system on the site are discussed.
See the full PDF: tacopaper

IESVIC connections

icevicIn March of 2000, Dr. David Scott, (formerly IESVic Director, now Director of Energy Systemics group), Dr. Ged McLean, (IESVic Director) , Dr. Murray MacWhale, ( Assistant Professor) and Mr. Walter Merida, ( former United World College student at the Adriatic College and then a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria) went out to Race Rocks with Garry Fletcher to start a process of idea building on the concept of Alternate Energy Technologies for Race Rocks . After a meeting including a few of the Pearson College students who were staying at Race Rocks while diving over the mid term break, we came away confident that some ideas had been discussed which may lead to a new collaborative arrangement for energy alternatives for the island.
 By May of 2000 Dr. Ged McLean arranged to have three students in Engineering at the University of Victoria do a feasibility study on Alternate Energy for Race Rocks in a class in the summer of 2000. As a result of this preliminary study, Taco Niet decided to take this on as a project for his Master ‘s Program.
racerocksUniversity of Victoria Media Release:
Graduate Student creates a renewable energy plan for Race Rocks.
Article in the Times Colonist referring to Taco’s research Article in THE RING (UVIC) Going with the Flow
tacosVideo of an interview by Garry Fletcher with Taco Niet on Alternate Energy for Race Rocks
Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 3P6

Taco Niet’s  Thesis Abstract
Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 7.48.10 PMSee also Niet, T, McLean, G. “Race Rocks Sustainable Energy Development”, Paper presented at 11th Canadian Hydrogen Conference, Victoria, BC, June 2001 Proposal by Michael Wheatley to reduce Power Generation Cost and Diesel Fuel Consumption at Race Rocks