Author: Tanya Kirnishni, Canadian Geographic Education
Publish Date: Dec 3, 2018 Last Update: Dec 3, 2018
The Annapolis Tidal Power Plant is the only tidal power station in North America. Located in the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world, the station has a generating capacity of 20 megawatts of electricity.
Tidal energy works by harnessing the power of ocean tides, which are caused in large part by the gravitational pull of the moon, as well as the sun and the rotation of the earth. Tidal energy is renewable, meaning that the water used for energy production is not used up in the process and is infinite.
Tidal power generating stations are installed along coastlines in areas with a large tidal range. Electricity is generated from ocean tides when water passes through a barrage or dam. The change between low tide and high tide causes water to flow through a turbine. This kinetic energy turns the turbine, which in turn powers a generator, converting mechanical energy into electricity.
Tidal energy is reliable because it happens twice a day — two low tides and two high tides within about 24 hours. The science behind harnessing tidal energy is still in its infancy and research is being done to determine how to make the process more efficient and to reduce its impact on marine life.
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