Prysmian, a worldwide leading player in the energy and telecommunications cables industry, has been selected together with International Telecom by the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) as a partner in an innovative project aimed at exploring the potential of tidal power generation.
Prysmian will design and supply the submarine composite cables for the connection of four tidal current turbines in the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia - Canada). Once the underwater cables are installed and operating, the generated electricity will be transferred to the shore and connected to the Nova Scotia power grid. The Bay of Fundy has been identified as the best site in North America and one of the best in the world for tidal power generation, with a resource potential as high as 2,000 megawatts, enough power for about 750,000 homes.
Prysmian will provide approximately 11 km of 3-core EPR (Ethylene Propylene Rubber) insulated 34.5 kV composite submarine cables for the connection of tidal current turbines. Prysmian has been the pioneer since the beginning of extruded cables technology to propose EPR insulated cables as the best solution to be used in harsh environments, due to its excellent performance when dynamic flexibility, water resistance and dielectric characteristics are required. These are the most significant reasons for Prysmian to propose the use of EPR insulated cables in medium voltage submarine networks (sea, lakes, rivers), when environmental conditions require a reliable, long lasting and maintenance-free solution.
The scope of the FORCE project is to test tidal energy devices and their effects, if any, on the environment and explore the potential of a cleaner, renewable source of energy. After wind and sun, tides are the ultimate frontier of renewable power that shows great future potential due to its high predictability. The FORCE project is a new application for submarine power transmission and distribution cable systems and further underlines the role of Prysmian as leader in technological innovation and the Group's commitment to renewable energies. The order for this project follows the recent acquisition by Prysmian of two major contracts for the connection to the mainland power grid of two offshore wind farms, named HelWin1 and BorWin2. The latter is particularly important because it sets a number of technological milestones in the industry being the first commercial ± 300 kV DC cable project using extruded technology (highest direct current voltage level ever reached), the first 800 MW connection to offshore wind parks and the largest VSC system with a capacity of 800 MW.
The cables and accessories required for the FORCE project will be manufactured at Group's submarine cable facility in Arco Felice, Italy. Installation activities will be performed by International Telecom in the summer of 2011 and the commencement of operation at the demonstration facility is planned for the fall of 2011.
Prysmian has developed a wide range of state-of-the-art products and technologies for applications in the renewable energies sector, from wind turbines and solar plants to large high voltage interconnections systems of new power generation sites. Particularly, Prysmian is acquiring a pre-eminent role in the development of state-of-the-art submarine cables for power transmission and this new contract further proves the validity of the Group's know-how and technologies and the commitment to support the development of smarter and greener power grids.