BGE invests e2m in energy firm - OpenHydro to use money for tidal farm off the coast

BORD Gáis Energy (BGE) is set to invest up to e2 million in the Greenore-based tidal renewable company, OpenHydro, to develop a largescale tidal farm off the coast.

BORD Gáis Energy (BGE) is set to invest up to e2 million in the Greenore-based tidal renewable company, OpenHydro, to develop a largescale tidal farm off the coast.

BGE initially plans to invest e1m in OpenHydro, which designs and manufactures marine turbines for generating renewable energy from tidal streams.

Bord Gis has also agreed to invest a further e1m providing certain targets are met relating to the tidal farm development.

"We are delighted to have secured this investment from Bord Gis Energy and to have established this exciting new joint venture focused on the development of Ireland's first utility scale tidal farm," said OpenHydro Chief Executive James Ives.

"The additional funds will be used to support OpenHydro's continued expansion in turbine production and deployment capability.

"We very much look forward to working with Bord Gis Energy as a key partner in the development of our business and in delivering tidal energy to Irish homes."

According to Bord Gis Chief Executive John Mullins, the investment will support BGE's ambition to achieve "early mover advantage" in tidal energy development in this country.

"We are delighted at the opportunity to work with OpenHydro, which is an industry leader in this technology, and to be at the fore front of the development of marine renewables," said Mr Mullins.

OpenHydro has raised e15.4m over the past 12 months from existing shareholders and new investors. The company, which currently employs over 50 people, has a project portfolio spanning the USA, Canada, France, Scotland and the UK's Channel Islands.

Last year, OpenHydro, in conjunction with SSE Renewables, was awarded licence rights by The Crown Estate in the UK to develop a major 200MW tidal farm in the Pentland Firth, off the northern coast of Scotland.

l Brendan Gilmore (right) and James Ives of OpenHydro