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A Tidal Power Project in the Bay of Fundy

    Naturevolume 135pages299300 (1935) | Download Citation



    THE Bay of Fundy is well known throughout the world for the height of its tides. It is not surprising, therefore, that Americans are interested in the project for getting tidal power at Passamaquoddy Bay, which lies between New Brunswick, Canada, and Maine, U.S.A. A full description of the project is given by H. E. M. Kensit in World Power of February. The projected power house is situated entirely in the State of Maine, but as the project is an international one, the power produced would be equally divided between the two countries. If we compare the estimated cost of the new project with that of the corresponding tidal power schemes in England (the Severn) and in the Argentine (San Jose) it comes out decidedly cheaper. In the English scheme, the cost of a horse-power is 31-4, in the Argentine it is 25-3 and at Passamaquoddy it is 1869, and each is roughly of the same size. The normal spring tides at the head of the Bay of Fundy range between 47 ft. and 52 ft. The maximum recorded tide occurred in 1869 and was nearly 57 ft. At the site of the new power station, the tides will lie between 17 ft. and 19-5 ft. In 1930, President Hoover induced Congress to defray half the cost of a joint investigation with Canada into the effect of such a station on fisheries. In this connexion, it is of interest to know that the committee on the Severn project decided that a large number of sluices open for many hours every day would obviate any detriment to fishing interests. It is probable therefore that the joint commission on fisheries may present a favourable report. The United States engineers indicate that there is no insuperable difficulty with regard to shipping interests, and many are hoping that this great enterprise will be carried out by private interests and capital.

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