Photo: ORPC's RivGen device prior to installation in Kvichak River, Alaska (Courtesy of ORPC)

ORPC bags $25M to accelerate tidal power roll-out

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) has secured a $20 million investment commitment, with an additional $5 million second closing this fall, from a consortium led by Canadian Shield Capital in alliance with Hatch.

Photo showing ORPC's RivGen device prior to installation in Kvichak River, Alaska (Courtesy of ORPC)
ORPC’s RivGen device prior to installation in Kvichak River, Alaska (Courtesy of ORPC)

Existing investors of ORPC also participated fully in this round of funding, the company said.

Proceeds of the raise will be used to finance ORPC’s growth including the installation of multiple devices in its targeted markets as well as boosting the company’s sales and marketing capability, supply chain and engineering expertise, and front office services.

The investment is said to further strengthen ORPC’s ability to meet global demand for climate change solutions, clean energy jobs and environmental and energy justice.

Andrew W. Dunn, managing partner at Canadian Shield Capital, said: “We have been extremely impressed by the depth of the ORPC leadership team, who have put together a thoughtful, staged plan to bring their products to market and to build broader adoption of this efficient, yet virtually untapped, CO2-free power source, beginning with a series of remote community, off-grid diesel displacements”.

The partnership with Hatch will assist ORPC to accelerate its international market penetration through access to Hatch’s global delivery team whose project expertise spans 150 countries and world class reputation in hydropower and major water management schemes stretches back almost 100 years.

“We see the potential in ORPC’s robust technology and see a path toward much more widescale adoption as part of community power solutions, initially in off-grid applications, but ultimately with grid-scale fleets of devices which also, due to steady power supply, will be useful to remote mines and industrial facilities”, said Robert Francki, global managing director for energy and dynamic Earth solutions at Hatch.

Stuart Davies, ORPC’s chief executive officer, said: “With over two years of operating history in the harsh river environment in Igiugig, Alaska, ORPC’s RivGen Power System has generated growing interest by remote communities globally to replace their diesel generation systems with our highly predictable, baseload renewable energy system.

“This new investment in ORPC, and the expertise that Canada Shield and Hatch bring, dramatically expand ORPC’s capability to respond to our target markets, which include communities eager to develop more localized and resilient renewable energy sources”.

More than two billion people worldwide have limited or no access to electricity, and 700 million of them rely on diesel fuel to operate their local grids, according to ORPC.

The company’s RivGen system installed in Igiugig in Alaska is the longest operating hydrokinetic device in all of the Americas.

The installation of a second device together with an energy storage system and smart microgrid controls, expected to take place later in 2021, will enable the community to reduce its diesel use by 60-90%, ORPC said.

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