Irish-led tidal energy project receives €3m in EU funding

9 Apr 2021

RivGen turbine. Image: ÉireComposites

The project will see the development of a new marine turbine that will harvest clean energy from tidal streams, ocean currents and riverine currents.

Galway-based ÉireComposites is leading a project to develop a state-of-the-art marine hydrokinetic turbine that aims to produce clean energy at a reduced cost.

The Crimson marine project has secured €3m in funding from the European Commission via the Fast Track to Innovation programme.

Design and manufacturing company ÉireComposites will lead an international consortium that also includes NUI Galway and the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC).

The project aims to develop and deliver to market a sustainable marine energy river and tidal turbine with foils made entirely of recycled carbon fibre.

The turbine could have the power to harvest marine energy from tidal streams, ocean currents and rivers, which could produce several gigawatts of clean energy and make a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions – a key target in Ireland under the Climate Action Bill.

ÉireComposites’ CEO, Tomas Flanagan, said the EU funding received will cover 75pc of the cost of the project. “As the sole Irish-led project funded in this call, it is a massive achievement for the country,” he added.

“At the conclusion of this project, we will have delivered a product that will have a positive impact on both the renewable energy sector and wider society. There is no doubt that society is progressing towards greener communities and I believe Crimson will play a positive role in this transition in terms of driving down costs for both the industry and consumers, but also increase the productivity of the renewable energy sector.”

The turbine is based on ORPC’s own design and this project furthers the company’s partnership with ÉireComposites. In 2019, ORPC’s first commercial RivGen power system was installed to power the remote community of Igiugig in Alaska, using sustainable, predictable local energy from the Kvichak River.

Director of European operations for ORPC, James Donegan, said: “Having worked with ÉireComposites and NUI Galway on previous and current Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland projects, we look forward to working with them on developing our megawatt-scale turbine and we are confident in the team’s ability to achieve the ambitious targets laid out by the Crimson project.”

The news follows a major development in Ireland’s renewable energy sector today (9 April), when ESB announced a multibillion-euro investment plan for its Moneypoint site in Co Clare, which will see the site transformed into a green energy hub over the next decade.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic