Emera’s involvement in Cape Sharp Tidal ends

OpenHydro's tidal turbine deployed in Bay of Fundy in July 2018 (Photo: Cape Sharp Tidal)

Emera has withdrawn from the joint venture Cape Sharp Tidal it formed with now defunct OpenHydro stating the project no longer represents the value for the Canadian energy business.

Canadian company Emera said it entered a process of examining the rights and obligations under various commercial agreements with its Irish partner OpenHydro, following the formal notification about withdrawal submitted to the company and its provisional liquidator Grant Thronton.

“Naval Energies essentially made the decision about the viability of the Cape Sharp Tidal project when they withdrew their support of the tidal energy industry.

“The surprise application by Naval Energies to Ireland’s High Court on July 26, 2018, requesting the liquidation of OpenHydro and Naval Energies’ subsequent statement that it will no longer support or invest in tidal turbines left Emera with no practical choice but to withdraw from Cape Sharp Tidal,” Emera said in a statement.

According to Emera – which has invested $12 million in OpenHydro – it has repeatedly reinforced with Grant Thornton the need to continue environmental monitoring and safe operation of the deployed turbine and the importance of meeting all obligations of Cape Sharp Tidal and OpenHydro to local suppliers.

The turbine, deployed just days before the liquidation announcement of the technology provider OpenHydro, has been disengaged from the power grid, according to Canadian media reports.

The 2MW turbine is reportedly not generating power, meaning also the environmental equipment is not running even though the turbine is still spinning, according to CBC. However, the turbine is being monitored weekly with a backup plan launched early in August for the periods when the weekly monitoring cannot take place.

CBC further reported, citing the words of Cape Sharp Tidal’s spokesperson, that the liquidator for OpenHydro is responsible for making the plan that would satisfy the environmental regulations.

“From the beginning, we understood that OpenHydro’s in-stream tidal energy technology was cutting edge and required investment in a non-commercial demonstration project to prove its viability.

“Without support from the technology developer, OpenHydro, to operate and maintain the technology and the turbine, we do not believe that there is further value in pursuing this project for our business,” added Emera.

The provisional liquidator currently controls the majority interest of OpenHydro Technology in Cape Sharp Tidal and is responsible for decisions related to the operations and future of OpenHydro and its respective subsidiaries.

Emera added it will continue to support the collaboration and innovation in tidal energy and Bay of Fundy through its involvement in the Ocean Supercluster initiative, revealing no further details about its plans.

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