VICTORIA — Researchers at the University of Victoria are floating a new idea that could bring clean, renewable power to British Columbia’s remote coastal communities and end their dependence on diesel generators.

A highly customized buoy, equipped with a wind turbine and a 3D laser-scanning system, will soon be launched off the Victoria-area coast to transmit live data. 

Researcher Brad Buckham, at the university’s Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery, says the data will fill in the knowledge gap that has prevented offshore wind energy from being used more widely. 

The buoy, which weighs 5,500 kilograms and is nine metres tall, will be barged out to waters not far from the university later this month for an assessment that could support a larger offshore power industry. 

Research scientist Chloe Immonen, who joined the project in 2019, says the trial will not only benefit remote communities hoping to replace diesel but will also give a better understanding of the way wind can be harnessed to create sustainable energy.

The buoy will be transmitting weather and ocean conditions over a period of about six months. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2021. 

The Canadian Press