Bord Gais Energy is taking a shareholding in OpenHydro, the Irish tidal renewable energy company. OpenHydro and Bord Gais Energy have also formed a joint venture focused on the development of a utility scale tidal farm off the coast of Ireland.
Bord Gais Energy will initially invest Eur1million in OpenHydro, which specialises in the design and manufacture of marine turbines for generating renewable energy from tidal streams. Bord Gais has also agreed to invest a further Eur1million on achievement of certain milestones relating to the tidal farm development.
“We are delighted to have secured this investment from Bord Gais Energy and to have established this exciting new joint venture focused on the development of Ireland’s first utility scale tidal farm,” comments James Ives, chief executive at OpenHydro. “The additional funds will be used to support OpenHydro’s continued expansion in turbine production and deployment capability.”
John Mullins, chief executive of Bord Gais, says: “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.
Currently employing over 50 people, OpenHydro has a project portfolio spanning the US, 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.