From marine currents to electrical current
Underwater tidal turbines convert the energy of marine tidal streams into electricity, in the same way as wind turbines do with the wind. They use the strength and speed of marine currents to spin their blades. But these tidal streams have the distinct advantage of being not only predictable, but also very strong in certain locations. The worldwide tidal energy market represents an exploitable power of at least 90 GW. Several tens of thousands of turbines are expected to be installed eventually worldwide. The ambition of DCNS is to achieve annual sales of at least a billion euros by 2025 in the tidal energy market.
Founded in 2004, OpenHydro has developed an innovative turbine capable of producing electricity at competitive prices. OpenHydro is a technological and commercial leader in the tidal energy market, where it has strong growth potential. The company has formed commercial partnerships with leading electricity suppliers in order to develop some of the world’s best tidal sites. It is trialling turbines in various areas in Europe and in North America. Based in Dublin and Greenore (Ireland), OpenHydro has 90 employees. It is now working, for example, with EDF on the installation of turbines at Paimpol-Bréhat (Brittany) and with SSE Renewables to install turbines in the Pentland Firth (Scotland).
The expansion of OpenHydro will foster an industrial development of regions located close to the world’s major areas of tidal resource. The characteristics of marine turbines are such that they must be assembled and maintained as close as possible to the areas where they are operated. Industrial facilities will be established in the regions where OpenHydro will be prime contractor for turbine farms. These developments will create wealth and jobs for the industrial areas concerned. This should be the case, for example, in Cherbourg near the Raz Blanchard (Race of Alderney), around the Bay of Fundy in Canada and County Antrim in Northern Ireland.