Apple commits US$1.07 million to SEAI for MHK development

Apple Inc., based in Cupertino, Calif., USA, has committed US$1.07 million to help developers test marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy prototypes through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) at its Ocean Energy test site for quarter-scale prototypes in Galway Bay, Ireland.

Apple and SEAI signed a memorandum of understanding in Ireland for the funding on Nov. 11.

“We’re excited by the potential of ocean energy to someday serve as a source of clean power for the data center we are building in Athenry, County Galway,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

The move will help the MHK industry in Ireland continue to develop as well as build on Apple’s desire to utilize hydroelectric energy to power its facilities.

In April 2014, Apple acquired the 45-Mile micro-hydroelectric project near one of its U.S. data centers, this one located in Prineville, Ore.

According to Apple’s 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report, the 45-Mile scheme is a micro-hydro project that harnesses water, which has been flowing through local irrigation canals for more than 60 years. Published estimates indicate the project cost $15 million, and Apple expects 45-Mile will annually generate about 12 GWh.

“We are deeply committed to powering all our facilities with 100% renewable energy and believe investing in innovative projects will make reaching our goal easier,” Jackson said.

Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White T.D., said, “The west coast of Ireland is recognized as having some of the best wave resources in the world and I warmly welcome this agreement between Apple and SEAI to help harness this renewable source of energy.

“This is an excellent achievement for Ireland and shows that when it comes to ocean energy development, Ireland is definitely open for business.”

Galway Bay test site has been operating since 2006.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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