Repsol dips toe into tidal energy with Tocardo partnership

Oil giant Repsol is to enter the tidal energy business following an agreement for the company to partner tidal stream tidal manufacturer Tocardo International.

Wave and tidal energy technology developers are working hard to make their technologies more commercially viable. For example the amount of ocean energy technology generating capacity installed globally more than doubled to reach 526.70MW (by end 2011 - source Lahmeyer).

Repsol and Tocardo plan to jointly develop offshore tidal energy projects, combining Tocardo’s expertise in tidal and river energy technologies with Repsol’s international influence and global energy market access.

Tocardo, which produces tidal and free-flow water turbines, hopes to use Repsol’s knowledge of the energy industry to tap into fledgling renewable energy markets and further accelerate the development of its off-shore engineering capabilities.

Tocardo also hopes that the deal will complement a partnership it agreed late last year, with offshore engineering company Huisman Equipment, so the three companies can deliver “turnkey tidal energy projects”.

“This is an important milestone for Tocardo,” said Hans van Breugel, ceo of Tocardo: “Access to the knowledge base of one of the world’s leading energy providers will strengthen our offering to the market. Repsol’s market knowledge combined with Tocardo’s technical capabilities will create a strong mutual strategic partnership.

“Having recently reached the full commercialisation of the building and marketing of our smaller turbine, this partnership will help us to scale up our business and gain advantage in this fast-moving sector,” he added. “With increasing international interest in tidal and in-stream power generation we will confirm our position as first to market in selling commercially produced water turbines. Tocardo, working with Huisman and Repsol, is now in a position to deliver on key projects.”

One of the biggest oil and gas providers in the world, Madrid-based Repsol has also been busy in the offshore wind market. The company has 1.2MW of offshore wind concessions in the UK and is a partner in the WindPlus/Principle Power floating offshore wind foundation.

“Repsol’s New Energy business unit was specifically created to identify opportunities, promote projects and develop initiatives in renewable and bioenergy,” said Íñigo Palacio Prada, energy ventures manager at Repsol. “This partnership with Tocardo fits perfectly within this framework.”

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