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UVic wave energy project gets financial boost

A UVic project looking to harness wave energy for a remote North Vancouver Island community has got a little push in financial support.

The university’s Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) got one of 10, million-dollar grants through the 2022 TD Ready Challenge.

They say the system is designed to assist people and communities disproportionately affected by climate change and a transition to a low-carbon economy. The end goal is to develop a renewable energy microgrid with a wave energy device at Yuquot on Nootka Island.

Buoys have been deployed at Maquinna Point near Nootka Island. The data collected has been used to determine feasibility of deploying a wave energy converter device.

UVic says the goal is to use this technology at the traditional home of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, and assist in their goal of re-occupying the location.

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The First Nation was removed from the location by the federal government in the 1950s to areas that were easier to service, with most of the surviving population moved to unfamiliar urban centres.

UVic adds the system could also give an alternative for a reliance on diesel generators.

Mechanical engineering chair and co-director Brad Buckham says the project will allow them to support the First Nation in getting back to their home.

MMFN lands resources and fisheries manager Roger Dunlop adds it is a step two in the reoccupation of Yuquot.

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