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Emera withdraws investment in Nova Scotia tidal power project

Emera Inc. on Aug. 13 notified OpenHydro Group Ltd. that it will pull out its investment in the 2-MW Cape Sharp Tidal project, an in-stream tidal turbine and a joint venture between the two companies.

Emera said it had "no practical choice but to withdraw from Cape Sharp Tidal" after OpenHydro filed for liquidation in late July and after Naval Energies, formerly DCNS Energies SAS and the parent company of OpenHydro, announced that it will stop investing in tidal turbines and will focus instead on floating wind turbines.

"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," Emera said in a news release.

"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," Emera said. "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."

The project, which came online in 2016, is situated in the Minas Passage of the Bay of Fundy. Emera said it has invested more than C$12 million in OpenHydro and Cape Share Tidal.

Emera is looking into its rights and obligations under its various commercial agreements with OpenHydro and has also notified Grant Thornton, OpenHydryo's provisional liquidator, of its decision to withdraw its involvement in the project.

In June, the U.K. government gave up on a proposed 320-MW tidal project in Wales, saying its costs outweighed its benefits.