Masset resident has novel tidal power idea

  • Jan. 26, 2007 7:00 p.m.

By Charlotte Tarver–The fossil fuel generation of electricity on the islands has bothered Robert Baker of Masset for over 20 years. He thought about different ways to produce electricity and ultimately came up with an idea on how to supply cost-effective electricity that would have few environmental impacts. Mr. Baker believes tidal power is the way to go and Masset Inlet is the perfect place. His idea is different than other tidal power systems. It uses tidal currents to drive a series of floating pumps that will carry sea water up to a reservoir on land. The reservoir would store the water to power conventional hydro-electric turbines to provide electric power to a local grid. “It is theoretical, no systems are in place,” Mr. Baker said. “Since 2002, I’ve put hundreds of hours into developing my idea.” He sent his plan to BC Hydro, “but they wouldn’t support it, said it is not a viable option,” he said. “BC Hydro has rigid parameters and not willing to go with new technology.” He believes his method would overcome the disadvantages of four other tidal power methods. The floating pumps would be less destructive to the environment than a tidal fence and more dependable than wave action generators. “I recently discovered my plan is not new, a Japanese company has had a patent on it since 1953, but no one has built one,” said the digital electronics engineer who has a business building and selling computers in Masset. “I’ve looked for people who are doing this kind of project and sent them information,” he said. “I don’t have the resources to put in the system…it would take 5 years and $7-million to develop.”. Baker’s website link has detailed drawings and information on how to build his system. He has someone in Masset who would let him build a sea water reservoir on private property. “The idea needs someone who knows how to raise capital and find investors.” He urges anyone who is interested in developing new sources of power here to check out his website at,

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

PHOTO GALLERY: Masset takes off on Terry Fox Run

More than $1,000 raised for Terry Fox Foundation

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Prince Rupert’s ferry issue is a North Coast issue, MLA Rice

Prince Rupert not alone in fight to save ferry to Ketchikan: Alaskan Rep. Ortiz

Brand new vessel for Massett Marine Rescue

The Tagwaal was unveiled to the public Sept. 6

Third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening makeup emerges

Another instance of Trudeau using makeup to darken his face has emerged, within 24 hours of the first

21 years: Grand Chief Stewart Philip to continue leading B.C. Indian Chiefs union

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip acclaimed as president of Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Autopsy results lead to new murder charges for two men near Williams Lake

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

B.C. MLA’s former constituency assistant charged with fraud, breach of trust

Charges announced Sept. 19 more than two years after Martin fired Desmond Devnich for alleged thefts

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

RCMP seize $1.9 million in B.C. traffic stop

The driver and passenger were detained under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

‘Troubling, insulting’: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reacts to Trudeau’s brownface photo

Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democrats, responded with a call for love after Trudeau photos surface

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized, BC SPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

Most Read