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August 17, 2021

Portland-based renewable energy company gets $25M in growth capital

COURTESY / ORPC INC. Ocean Renewable Power Co., a marine renewable energy business headquartered in Portland, said Monday it has secured a $25 million investment commitment. The company's RivGen Power System is seen here in 2019 in the remote Alaskan village of Igiugig.

Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co., a marine renewable energy business, announced Monday it has secured a new investment totaling $25 million.

The funding consists of a $20 million commitment with an additional $5 million closing this fall, and comes from a consortium including two Canadian companies, according to a news release.

Canadian Shield Capital, a private equity firm in Toronto, is leading the investment along with Hatch, a global engineering and professional services firm headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario. 

Existing Ocean Renewable investors also participated in the funding round.

Ocean Renewable, known as ORPC, develops renewable power systems that harness energy from free-flowing rivers and tidal currents.

“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,” ORPC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Davies said in the release.

“This new investment in ORPC, and the expertise that Canadian 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.”

Stuart Davies

The company’s work responds to the limited electricity access experienced by more than 2 billion people worldwide; 700 million of them rely on diesel fuel to operate their local grids. 

ORPC’s RivGen system installed in Alaska is the longest-operating hydrokinetic device in all of the Americas, the company said. The installation of a second device together with an energy storage system and smart microgrid controls is expected to enable the community to reduce its diesel use by 60% to 90%. 

ORPC has a growing pipeline of potential projects in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.

Multiple devices

The company said it plans to use proceeds of the raise to finance continued growth, including the installation of multiple generation devices in its markets and expanding sales and marketing capability, supply chain and engineering expertise, and front office services.

“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,” said Andrew Dunn, a managing partner with Canadian Shield Capital.

ORPC said its partnership with Hatch will help speed market penetration through access to Hatch’s global delivery team, whose project expertise spans 150 countries and includes hydropower and water management experience dating 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, Hatch’s global managing director in energy and dynamic earth solutions.

In addition to its Portland headquarters, ORPC has an electronics laboratory in Brunswick, a marine operations center and in-water product test site in Eastport, an Alaska project office and subsidiaries in Canada, Ireland and Chile.

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