OpenHydro set for $833m Alderney project

Tidal technology company OpenHydro, a DCNS company, and Alderney Renewable Energy (ARE) have today signed a joint venture which will see the two companies combine their expertise and resources to develop a 300MW tidal array in Alderney waters. The joint venture company is called Race Tidal Ltd.

By K.Steiner-Dicks on Apr 22, 2014

OpenHydro Group Ltd., majority owned by French engineering company DCNS SA, agreed to work with Alderney Renewable Energy Ltd. to develop a EUR600, ($833m) tidal energy plant. The Race Tidal Ltd. venture will have a capacity of about 300MW and is expected to include up to 150 turbines powering 2MW each off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands, according to OpenHydro. The project is due to be complete in 2020, when it will produce enough power for more than 150,000 homes.

Commenting on the joint venture announcement, Thierry Kalanquin, chairman of OpenHydro and DCNS Senior Vice President Energies and Marine Infrastructure, 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. The announcement represents another key milestone as we realise our goals to deliver commercial tidal energy projects. The joint venture that we have signed with ARE will now ensure the development of a 300MW tidal array in Alderney waters.”

The island of Alderney is located in the Channel Islands and its territorial waters contain one of the world’s largest tidal energy resources which once fully developed is estimated to power 1.5 million homes. FAB Link Limited, a joint venture between ARE and Transmission Investment LLP is developing a power interconnector between France, Alderney and Britain.

This link will enable the tidal power generated in Alderney’s waters to be exported to European markets, as well as allowing energy to be traded between France and Britain. Development of the FAB project is progressing in conjunction with French Grid operator RTE.

ARE has a long established relationship with OpenHydro (OpenHydro holds a 31 per cent shareholding in ARE) with both companies bringing their complementary expertise to this project. In 2008, ARE secured a 65 year license from the States of Alderney permitting ARE to develop marine renewable energy projects in Alderney’s waters. OpenHydro will provide the turbines which will be manufactured in Cherbourg (France) in an industrial site which will also support future tidal energy projects.