Life Sciences and Energy

OpenHydro prepares to deliver two grid connected tidal arrays

By Business & Finance
05 May 2015
OpenHydro employees pictured in front of one of the company’s open-centre turbines.

Tidal energy company OpenHydro, a DCNS company, marks a major milestone this week as it celebrates a decade in business while preparing to make industry history during 2015.

The Irish headquartered business based in Greenore is planning delivery of two of the world’s first grid connected tidal arrays in France and Canada later this year: a tidal energy industry first.

In the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, OpenHydro is working with Emera to deploy and grid connect two 16 metre turbines (2MW each), tapping into one of the most powerful tidal environments on Earth. Off the Brittany coast at EDF’s Paimpol-Bréhat site, OpenHydro will also install two grid-connected, 16 metre turbines.

The company has almost one gigawatt of projects under development – equivalent to 25% of Ireland’s electricity demand. OpenHydro’s commercial portfolio comprises projects in Scotland, the Channel Islands, Canada, Northern Ireland and France, with utility partners including SSE Renewables, Alderney Renewable Energy, Emera, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group and EDF.

125 staff are employed across three sites: a technical centre in Carlingford, Co Louth; offices in Dublin and a Canadian branch in Halifax, Nova Scotia. By the end of 2015, it plans to grow its workforce by a further 25%.

James Ives, OpenHydro chief executive, said: “This is a milestone year for OpenHydro as we celebrate 10 years in business. Over this period we’ve achieved a number of industry firsts, including being the first to deploy a tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the first to generate electricity from tidal streams onto the UK grid, and the first to deploy commercial scale turbines in Canada and France. During 2015 we plan delivery of two of the world’s first grid connected tidal arrays which will showcase our technology at commercial scale.”

French industrial group, DCNS, acquired a controlling interest in OpenHydro in 2013 and is focused on supporting OpenHydro’s transition from R&D to industrial supply and delivery of economic, commercial tidal arrays. With support from DCNS, OpenHydro has established itself as the market leader in tidal energy – an industry estimated to be worth over €200bn.

Thierry Kalanquin, senior vice president, Energy and Marine Infrastructure in DCNS and chairman of OpenHydro, commented: “DCNS is proud of its association with OpenHydro. The success of OpenHydro’s innovation has helped forge a strong, customer focused company preparing for commercial delivery. We are committed to using our expertise and global network to support OpenHydro and expand its opportunities in new markets.”