Tidal Energy Company OpenHydro Raised $53 Million for Expansion

OpenHydro Group Ltd., a closely-held Dublin-based specialist in tidal stream technology, raised 47 million euros ($53 million) to help fund the production of turbines and the build-out of projects in north west Europe and Canada.

The company, which is majority-owned by DCNS SA, a French naval systems designer and manufacturer, deployed a 2-megawatt machine in January in the waters off Paimpol-Brehat in Brittany, France. It’s planning to install a second there by the summer.

“In September 2015, our board approved a process of raising funding, with a target of 55 million euros,” Peter Corcoran, OpenHydro’s chief financial officer, said in a phone interview. “The plan was to have two phases. The first, of 45 million euros, was focused on our internal shareholders, including DCNS.”

Since them, OpenHydro raised 47 million euros from across its shareholder base. The board is now assessing the second phase and the value of funds that it would have to raise in 2016 to complete the project, he said.

The money raised would support “the company’s transition to industrial supply and its project pipeline in France, Canada, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands.”

OpenHydro is one of a group of specialist companies that have developed underwater turbines aimed at generating electricity from the flow of the tides, and are now starting to deploy them in demonstration projects. Among its competitors are U.K.-listed Atlantis Resources Ltd., Norway-based Andritz Hydro Hammerfest A/S and the tidal unit of Alstom SA, now part of General Electric Co.’s renewable energy business.

OpenHydro said it has delayed the installation of two 2-megawatt turbines in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, until the weather improves in the spring.

It has other plants in the pipeline, including a 14-megawatt array in partnership with Electricite de France SA off the Normandy coast. That project won a tender by the French Environmental and Energy Management Agency, Ademe. EDF is also OpenHydro’s partner for the Paimpol-Brehat project.

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