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EMEC statement on OpenHydro

OpenHydro Open Centre Turbine at EMEC tidal test site (Credit: Mike Brookes-Roper)

OpenHydro Open Centre Turbine at EMEC tidal test site (Credit: Mike Brookes-Roper)

Statement from Neil Kermode, Managing Director, EMEC:

“EMEC is gutted to hear that Naval Energies have made the difficult decision to liquidate OpenHydro.

“OpenHydro were EMEC’s first tidal energy client, and are our longest standing client, having been operating at the Fall of Warness test site since 2007. In 2008, they became the first company in the UK to feed tidal power into the national grid – a remarkable achievement.

“Their innovative open centred turbine has been one of the most recognisable images of tidal energy.

“Having been a loyal customer for over a decade we know many of the staff personally, having seen the company grow from a handful to over 100 people. The OpenHydro team have worked tirelessly to promote the benefits and opportunities that the tidal energy industry offers. The important impact that they have made in these still early days of developing this new carbon free form of energy will be a lasting legacy which will not be forgotten.

“But working at the vanguard of technology development has its risks. At EMEC we’re all too aware that some of the pioneering technologies testing at our sites will fail to manage the difficult transition from research to commercial success. This point in development is known in innovation circles as ‘the valley of death’ as costs increase the closer they get to commercialisation. It looks as though OpenHydro are another casualty of that valley.

“However, human ingenuity will prevail: tidal energy is on the cusp of becoming a viable industry with multiple GWhs being generated off the north of Scotland as we speak. We are confident that it has an important part to play in our future energy systems.

“We know we just need to keep at it, keep getting metal wet, keep learning lessons from each other and those that have come before, and bring down the costs.

“This is the hard journey that all technologies have to travel. It is such a shame that OpenHydro are not going to make it.

“But tidal energy’s day is yet to come.”

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