Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Yankee Tides

In August 2014, the Department of Energy award $16.9 million in grants to developers of tidal power generation systems.  Ocean Renewable Power Company based in Portland, Maine was the single largest recipient of the DOE’s largess, receiving a total of $4.9 million for two separate but related projects.  Since then the company has received a series of grants and awards to advance its ‘marine hydrokinetic’ power systems.  More recently the company received $2.5 million in grant monies from the DOE to build a deployment and retrieval system for its tidal or river power generation turbines.
Ocean Renewable Power is a private company and therefore off the radar for most investors.  However, its leadership in the emerging ‘marine hydrokinetic’ sector makes it a company to watch. 

Ocean Renewable is among few around the world and the only developer in the U.S. to have connected an operating tidal power generator to a commercial electricity grid.  The Maine Tidal Energy project is located in the Bay of Fundy in eastern Maine and uses Ocean Renewable’s TidGen Power System.   When the project was grid connected it sent electricity to the Emera Maine power grid.  The system had to be retrieved for repairs to components with faulty fabrication.  Ocean Renewables is taking advantage of the downtime to fine tune its system, but expects to be back in the Bay of Fundy in 2017.   Eventually the system could be expanded to five megawatts.  There is still a twenty-year power purchase agreement in place with Emera.

Besides grants from federal, state and local agencies with interests in energy and environment, Ocean Renewables is supported by revenue from consulting services.  The company has developed its own hydrokinetic systems for deep-ocean, tidal or river power applications and it’s engineers and marine scientists are available for hire to help projects in all sorts of marine environments around the world.  Additionally, the company has private investors, but is mum on the amounts and sources.

Next post features another U.S.-based tidal power developer.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

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