Irish company wins US tidal power contract

An Irish tidal energy company has secured a major contract to develop a tidal energy pilot project in the US, it has announced.

OpenHydro will work with Washington State public utility provider Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD) - the country's 12th largest publicly-owned company of its kind.

It will develop a tidal electicity facility in the Admiralty Inlet region of the Puget Sound estuary - which has a shoreline of 3,790 km - with installation expected to begin in 2011.

The scheme has received a grant from the US Department of Energy Advanced Water Power Projects and will involved up to three tidal turbines, connected to the electricity grid through sub-sea cables.

"OpenHydro's vision is to develop arrays of tidal turbines, silently and invisibly generating renewable energy under the world's oceans," explained company Chief Executive James Ives.

He added the contract is a significant step for the business and will help it accomplish that vision.

In February, the firm won the Rushlight Natural Energy Award at a ceremony in London for its contribution to the field of renewable power.



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