Maine ocean energy developer expands to Ireland

U.S.-based Ocean Renewable Power Company has announced that it will establish a presence called ORPC Ireland, LLC, at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology’s Co-Lab Business Centre in County Donegal.

Located in the northwest region of Ireland, County Donegal is home to the country’s largest fishing port, Killybegs, which has more mainland coastline than any other port in the country at more than 1,130 kilometers.

“County Donegal’s strong maritime heritage, ocean energy resources and the Port of Killybegs draw striking similarities to Washington County, Maine, home to ORPC’s Maine operations,” ORPC president and CEO Chris Sauer said. “Our partnership with the communities of County Donegal, the Letterkenny Institute, and all those interested in and currently at work in the maritime industry in Donegal provide a strong base from which to launch ORPC Ireland projects.”

ORPC made history in the United States by establishing the first federally-licensed, grid-connected tidal energy project in the U.S. in 2012 with the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project in Maine.

The company was also selected by Resolute Marine Energy in 2013 to provide project management and regulatory affairs services for RME’s Yakutat Wave Energy Project in Alaska.

Now, ORPC said, it will expand its interests to Europe.

“The new opportunities this will bring to our communities, including our students and academics, port facilities and local contractors are very exciting,” Letterkenny Institute of Technology president Paul Hannigan said. “We are eager to expand our renewable energy expertise and look forward to contributing to the founding of the marine renewables industry in Donegal.”

The company did not disclose what specific activities will be undertaken by ORPC Ireland, but said it looks forward to “cultivating strong community and regional relationships” while “maximizing local and regional economic benefits, including jobs, local spending, increased tax revenues and educational opportunities.”

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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