Naval Energies stops investment in tidal energy

Naval Energies announced in late July that it would stop investing in tidal turbines and instead concentrate on floating wind turbines and marine thermal energy conversion.

This decision most directly affects the company’s OpenHydro Group Ltd. subsidiary in Ireland, which manufactures the tidal turbines.

Ironically, on July 24, Naval Energies (formerly DCNS Energies) deployed a new tidal turbine in Canada and connected it to the grid, according to a press release. This deployment was a partnership between Emera Inc. and OpenHydro, under a venture called the Cape Sharp Tidal Venture turbine project.

In its announcement of this decision, Naval Energies said, “The fact remains that the market for tidal-turbine energy is closing.” The release cited data from the French Environment and Energy Management Agency anticipating only 100 MW to 150 MW of this technology to be installed between now and 2028.

“The gap between the technology and the demand on the market, and the lack of commercial prospects over the long term, are forcing Naval Energies to bring its developments in tidal energy to an end,” the company said.

OpenHydro’s technology, called the Open-Centre Turbine, comprises four key components: a horizontal-axis rotor, a direct-drive permanent magnet generator, a hydrodynamic duct, and a subsea gravity base foundation. The commercial-scale turbine is 16 m in diameter and is rated at 2 MW. It weighs about 300 tonnes and is predominantly a steel assembly.

The turbines are placed directly on the seabed, supported by subsea base structures, deep enough so as not to pose a hazard to shipping. No seabed preparation is required.

CBC reported on July 27 that OpenHydro is now in liquidation and that the company had filed for creditor protection in Ireland.

In related news, earlied this year, Tocardo International BV announced it had filed for protection from creditors, after a planned share swap with Tribute Resources Inc. was cancelled.

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