Due to rising fuel costs and environmental concerns, energy generation from alternative power source has become one of the most important issues in energy policy. Tidal power is one of the alternative energy sources. The tidal range at the Bay of Fundy is the largest in the world (approximately 16 meters). It represents a prime location for harnessing tidal power using the daily rising and ebbing tide. In this study, a two dimensional finite element model has been developed and applied to simulate the tidal responses, including water level and flow velocity, in the Bay of Fundy region. The simulation results are used to choose the suitable location for energy development and to predict possible energy generated from different types of generation methods. Fluid motion is assumed to be governed by the shallow water equation since the wave length associated with tide is much longer than the water depth in the Bay of Fundy. By using a real time series of water elevation at the entrance of the bay, the computer model finds tidal response for each node in the study area, which is then verified by the observation record from several tidal gauge stations inside the bay. This study shows that the at-site cost of the energy for barrage type tidal power plants is around 0.065 to 0.097 per kWh at the recommended Shepody Bay, Cumberland Basin, and Cobequid Bay. The cost of energy for the current turbine type tidal power plants is 0.13/kWh to 0.24/kWh at the area with highest current velocity. Compared with the recent bill of the local power company, the at-site unit cost of energy from the barrage type of tidal power plant is feasible, but the environmental concerns of channel blocking by barrage present a formidable constraint. For the current turbine type of tidal power plant, even the most suitable sites are not financially feasible under current technology, but this type of power generation may become feasible as oil prices continue to increase and more efficient turbines become available.
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