Bord Gáis Energy Commits €2million to OpenHydro Plans for Ireland’s First Tidal Energy Farm

OpenHydro, the Irish tidal renewable energy company and Bord Gáis Energy have concluded an agreement for Bord Gáis Energy to become a shareholder in OpenHydro. In addition to the investment, OpenHydro and Bord Gáis Energy have formed a joint venture focused on the development of a utility scale tidal farm off the coast of Ireland.

Bord Gáis Energy will initially invest EUR1million in OpenHydro whose business is the design and manufacture of marine turbines for generating renewable energy from tidal streams. Bord Gáis has also agreed to invest a further EUR1million on achievement of certain milestones relating to the tidal farm development.

Commenting on the announcement, James Ives, chief executive at OpenHydro said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment from Bord Gáis Energy and to have established this exciting new joint venture focused on the development of Ireland’s first utility scale tidal farm. The additional funds will be used to support OpenHydro’s continued expansion in turbine production and deployment capability. We very much look forward to working with Bord Gáis Energy as a key partner in the development of our business and in delivering tidal energy to Irish homes.”

John Mullins, chief executive officer at Bord Gáis said: “This investment – and the formation of the joint venture to develop utility scale tidal generating capacity off the coast of Ireland – will support our ambition to achieve early mover advantage in tidal energy development in this country. We are delighted at the opportunity to work with OpenHydro, which is an industry leader in this technology, and to be at the fore front of the development of marine renewables.”

OpenHydro has now raised EUR15.4million over the past twelve months from existing shareholders and new investors.

The company, which currently employs over 50 people has a project portfolio spanning the USA, Canada, France, Scotland and the UK’s Channel Islands with utility partners including EDF, Nova Scotia Power and SSE Renewables. Last year, OpenHydro, in conjunction with SSE Renewables, was awarded licence rights by The Crown Estate in the UK to develop a major 200MW tidal farm in the Pentland Firth, off the northern coast of Scotland.


Source: openhydro, January 14, 2011