Irish clean-tech firm part of joint venture to build €600m Channel Islands tidal farm

10 Apr 2014

One of OpenHydro's latest tidal turbines is loaded onto a barge at Greenore, Co Louth

Irish tidal technology company OpenHydro and Alderney Renewable Energy (ARE) have signed a joint venture that will see the two companies combine to develop a 300MW tidal array in Alderney waters at a cost of €600m.

The joint venture company is to be called Race Tidal Ltd. The formal agreement took place at a signing event at the International Convention Marine Renewable Energy in Cherbourg, France, this week.

The island of Alderney, located in the Channel Islands, contains one of the world’s largest tidal energy resources which, once fully developed, is estimated to power 1.5m homes.

Once the vast array is developed by OpenHydro and ARE, it is expected to consist of 150 turbines (2MW each) which will produce enough power for more than 150,000 homes.

Over the next three years, the partners will be working closely with The States of Alderney, the Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy, local communities and stakeholders to complete the required surveys and environmental impact assessments prior to making an application for full consent.

The 300MW tidal array is expected to reach full-scale deployment from 2020, which will coincide with the commissioning of the FAB interconnector.

OpenHydro chairman Thierry Kalanquin said, “We are very excited about this next phase in the development of tidal energy in Alderney waters. Our initial agreement with ARE, which dates back to 2007, has been a strategic part of our site development business plan.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic