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Tocardo Targets 20 Megawatts of Water Power After Repsol Deal

Tocardo BV International, a Dutch maker of turbines that generate power from water, expects to install 20 megawatts of its devices by mid-2015 after signing deals with Repsol SA and a unit of Rabobank Group.

The agreements with Repsol and Climex BV, Rabobank’s clean energy and carbon trading arm, enable Tocardo to accelerate installation of its first 20 megawatts of systems in near-shore and river locations across Asia, the U.S. and Europe, Hans Van Breugel, chief executive officer of the Den Oever-based company, said in a telephone interview.

The company, which has a testing facility in the Netherlands, has already supplied turbines for a river project in Nepal and plans to supply turbines to Japan as part of a deal with Spectol Power Design Co. It aims to deploy its first machines in Europe and North America in 12 to 14 months, Van Breugel said.

“We are at the start of a very large industry,” the CEO said. “We have strategic partners that moved us from the second division to premier league.”

The manufacturer aims to tap into the growing market for clean electricity as countries from the U.S. to China strive to slash polluting greenhouse gas emissions and meet 2020 renewable energy targets by harnessing power from the wind, sun and water.

Tocardo expects to reach grid parity, where the cost of power from its turbines will be equal to or less than the cost of power from the grid, in three to five years, according to Van Breugel. In “good locations” its river turbines already have reached grid parity and don’t always need government support, he said.

While the turbine maker doesn’t need to raise any money, it’s seeking funds on a project level. It’s talking to small local developers, utilities and large companies for this, the CEO said. Typically the company’s technology costs $3.5 million to $7 million a megawatt, he said. There is “much more” investor appetite in Asia than in Europe because of the lack of energy in the region, he said.

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