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Irish firm in Nova Scotia energy deal

Friday, March 28 15:43:33

Irish tidal technology company, OpenHydro, announced today that it has been selected by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy in Canada for a tidal energy demonstration project at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) test site.

OpenHydro was bought by French group, DCNS, last year.

It was selected as part of a competitive process undertaken by the Canadian authorities in its drive to progress the development of a tidal energy industry in the Bay of Fundy.

OpenHydro will now proceed with plans for the deployment of a fully grid connected 4MW tidal array to be in place later in 2015. The array will consist of two 16m (2.0MW) commercial scale turbines. On successful completion, this project has the potential to be the world's first multi-megawatt array of interconnected tidal turbines, providing energy to over 1,000 customers in Nova Scotia.

OpenHydro's 16m tidal turbine has already been successfully deployed and is currently operating off the coast of France.

A group led by OpenHydro together with Nova Scotia-based energy company Emera, will deliver the project. The projects key local industrial partners are Irving Shipbuilding, Irving Equipment and Atlantic Towing. The group has ambitious future plans for tidal energy in the region and are looking to use this initial demonstration project as the first phase of a commercial scale project in the Bay of Fundy, which subject to regulatory approvals, will see the array grow to 300MW.

OpenHydro said it is committed to establishing a local manufacturing hub in the Bay of Fundy area using local skills and predict that 950 direct and indirect jobs will be created as the project moves to commercial scale. It is OpenHydro's strategy to develop local manufacturing hubs in regions located close to major areas of tidal resource.

Commenting on this latest award by the Department of Energy in Nova Scotia, Thierry Kalanquin, executive chairman of OpenHydro and DCNS Senior Vice President Energies and Marine Infrastructure, said: "OpenHydro is proud to have been the first technology installed in the Bay of Fundy and we remain convinced of the potential of the region as a major source of clean renewable energy. This project represents an important step in building a local tidal energy industry in Nova Scotia and a next step in the development of commercial tidal farms in the region. Thanks to the on-going support of the Department of Energy of Nova Scotia, we are looking forward to continuing to work with FORCE and building a long term relationship with our industrial partner Irving."