DP Marine Energy Ltd. (DPME) is the focus of authorization discussions with the Nova Scotia Department of Energy to install a 4.5-MW tidal stream demonstration power plant in the Bay of Fundy.
If successful, DPME will become the fifth berth-holder (sanctioned research project) beneath surface waters of the world’s most potent tidal flow at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), in Parrsboro, on the northern shore of Minas Basin.
The FORCE site already has several companies that together make four berth-holders:
• Minas Energy, Marine Current Turbines and Bluewater Energy Services B.V.
• Atlantis, Lockheed-Martin and Irving Shipbuilding
• OpenHydro Co. and EMERA Inc.
• Black Rock Tidal Power
OpenHydro installed a $10 million turbine at the site in 2009, but tidal currents in the bay destroyed the apparatus. However, in partnership with EMERA Inc. for summer 2015 implementation of their new venture, Cape Sharp Tidal, the company is expected to deploy a small number of turbines at FORCE under their existing berth.
Maureen De Pietro and her son, Simon, own DP Energy and they established DPME in 2008, according to published reports. Simon is trained as a mechanical engineer and serves as the managing director of DP Energy. His mother was a practicing solicitor (attorney) in the UK from 1966 to 2000, according to company information.
DP Energy originally set up in County Cork, Ireland, as a wind development company and now operates several energy-related development companies. In forming DPME, the company develops marine energy projects. In addition to other holdings, DPME owns the Westray South project in Orkney, Scotland, and is also partner with a consortium developing tidal projects in Fair Head, Northern Ireland, and West Islay, off the west coast of Scotland.
DPME is in partnership with the consortium DEME Dredging, Environmental & Marine Engineering and PMV Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen (DEME Blue Energy). DEME Blue Energy (DBE) is operated by their parent company, DEME, which is in Flanders, Belgium. DEME is a highly regarded dredging, environmental and marine engineering group that has more than 50 offices worldwide. DEME engages in a number of highly specialized and complex hydraulic disciplines.
The group is contracted to operate the proposed 400-MW West Islay tidal farm project, located 8 km off the tip of the Rhinns of Islay. Construction is scheduled for offshore work to begin by 2015. Published reports indicate the tidal farm is expected to start full-scale production by 2024.
DPME/DBE have also received an award of an Agreement for Lease from The Crown Estate for a 100-MW tidal project at their West Islay tidal farm project off the northwest coast of Antrim, at Fair Head, in Northern Ireland.