Business Irish

Saturday 24 March 2018

Openhydro wins contract to test turbines in wilds of Canada

OpenHydro's turbine off the Orkneys, Scotland
OpenHydro's turbine off the Orkneys, Scotland

Patrick Edwards

Irish tidal energy company Openhydro has won a contract to test turbines in one of Canada's stormiest and most remote regions.

Canada unveiled the project by Dublin-headquartered Openhydro recently.

Officials plan to spend $8m Canadian dollars (€6.1m) for two clean technology projects in Nova Scotia. The projects are being supported by a fund for investment in sustainable development technology.

Openhydro will get $6.4m for a tidal energy project in the Bay of Fundy which will use turbines to simulate the cost and performance of a commercial tidal farm in harsh conditions.

The site has the potential to supply thousands of homes with clean power by harnessing tidal energy.

Canada already possesses one of the cleanest electricity mixes in the world with just under two-thirds of its electricity coming from renewable sources - the highest in the G7 group of large countries.

While Openhydro is based in Ireland and specialises in tidal energy, it has yet to build a project here.

French naval firm DCNS took a 60pc stake in Openhydro in a 2011 deal that valued the company at €170m.

The Irish firm lost one of its pilot projects in the US earlier this year after Washington-based Snohomish Public Utility District abandoned plans for a hydrokinetic power-generating facility off of the state's west coast.

The scheme, eight years in the making and worth an estimated €37m, was to have been operated by OpenHydro.

Canada is an enthusiastic supporter of green technology.

Canada's per-capita greenhouse gas emissions are at the lowest levels since tracking began.

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