French company takes majority stake in OpenHydro

Posted on 23 Jan 2013

French naval defence manufacturer DCNS is taking a majority stake in renewable energy company OpenHydro after predicting a surge in the tidal sector.

DCNS will up its stake from 11% to 59.7%, taking control of the Ireland-based manufacturer of marine turbines, which are laid on the seabed to generate renewable tidal energy.

The decision to increase its stake in OpenHydro is part of the French company’s plan to boost revenue from renewable energy, entering the market in 2009 following the decline of the defence sector in Europe and North America.

With several tens of thousands of turbines are expected to be installed worldwide,

OpenHydro has developed a turbine capable of producing electricity at competitive prices.

OpenHydro was the first company to generate electricity for the UK National Grid from tidal energy, and will become a vital part of DCNS’ plans to achieve annual sales of at least a billion euros in the tidal energy market by 2025.

The French submarine manufacturer is investing in tidal energy, floating wind turbines, wave energy, and ocean thermal energy.

OpenHydro is currently trialling turbines in various areas in Europe and in North America, teaming up with energy supplier SSE’s renewables division to install turbines off the coast of Scotland and EDF to create tidal energy in French waters.

Industrial facilities will be established in the regions where OpenHydro will be prime contractor for turbine farms. DCNS says that these developments will create wealth and jobs in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, as well sites in France and Canada close to suitable tidal locations.

“This operation is a practical implementation of our ambition in marine renewable energy, which is one of DCNS’ development priorities for the coming decades,” said Patrick Boissier, chairman at DCNS.

“Taking control of a start-up in another country and in the energy sector demonstrates the magnitude of the transformation put into effect by our group since the launch of our growth plan three years ago,” he added.