Turbines turn tide for clean power generation
Published 02/09/2011 | 05:00
IRISH renewable-energy company OpenHydro has begun the installation of the first of four 16m-high tidal turbines off the French coast as part of a €40m project.
The installation is the first stage of a project which will create the world's largest tidal-energy generator.
The turbines, which were made in the port of Brest, were supplied by OpenHydro. Each has the capacity to generate more than 2mw of energy each -- enough to power about 1,000 homes.
The turbine is now being towed to the deployment site off the island of Brehat, near Paimpol in CÃ´tes-d'Armor, where it will be deployed on the seabed at a depth of 35 metres.
For two months, the turbine and subsea base, which have a combined weight of 850 tonnes and a height of 22 metres, will be tested.
The project has the support of the local government in Brittany, the French state and the European Commission.
While OpenHydro is installing tidal-energy projects in both Scotland and France, it has yet to install any such projects here in Ireland.
Investors include Bord Gais, One51 -- the troubled investment group which recently parted company with Philip Lynch -- and financier Brendan Gilmore, who is chairman.
French submarine and nuclear-technology group DCNS paid €14m for an 8pc stake in the company this year, valuing the business at €175m.
Other investors include Pershing International Nominees, a London-based affiliate of the Bank of New York, and Davycrest Nominees, part of Davy Stockbrokers.