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 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.