The Working Waterfront

Maine-based hydropower innovator lands capital

ORPC secures $25 million investment from Canadian firm

Posted 2021-08-17
Last Modified 2021-08-17

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), a developer of renewable power systems that harness energy from free-flowing rivers and tidal currents, announced that it has secured a $20 million investment commitment with an additional $5 million coming in the fall.

The investment comes from a consortium led by Canadian Shield Capital in alliance with Hatch. Hatch is a global engineering, project management, and professional services firm with expertise in waterpower and microgrids. ORPC’s existing investors also participated in this round of funding.

The investment will “dramatically expand ORPC’s capability to respond to our target markets, which include communities eager to develop more localized and resilient renewable energy sources.”

The funds will 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 strengthens ORPC’s ability to meet global demand for climate change solutions, clean energy jobs, and environmental and energy justice.

Stuart Davies
Stuart Davies

“We have been extremely impressed by the depth of the ORPC leadership team,” said Andrew W. Dunn, managing partner of Canadian Shield Capital. “They 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.”
Its partnership with Hatch will assist ORPC in accelerating its international market penetration through access to Hatch, which has worked for almost 100 years in 150 countries on hydropower and water management.

“We see the potential in ORPC’s robust technology and see a path toward much more widescale adoption as part of community power solutions,” said Robert Francki, Hatch’s global managing director for energy and dynamic Earth solutions.

ORPC’s work will take shape in off-grid applications initially, he added, but ultimately will include “grid-scale fleets of devices which will be useful to remote mines and industrial facilities.”

ORPC’s CEO Stuart Davies noted that the company’s two-year operating history in the harsh river environment of Igiugig, Alaska with its RivGen Power System has drawn interest from remote communities around the world to replace diesel generation systems. The RivGen system is a “highly predictable, baseload renewable energy system.”

The investment and the expertise that Canada Shield and Hatch bring will “dramatically expand ORPC’s capability to respond to our target markets, which include communities eager to develop more localized and resilient renewable energy sources,” Davies added.
More than 2 billion people worldwide have limited or no access to electricity, and 700 million of those rely on diesel fuel to operate their local grids. ORPC’s RivGen system in Igiugig, Alaska is the longest operating hydrokinetic device in all of the Americas, according to the company. The installation of a second device together with an energy storage system and smart microgrid controls will enable the community to reduce its diesel use by 60-90 percent.

ORPC is headquartered in Portland with an electronics laboratory in Brunswick, and a marine operations center and in-water product test site in Eastport. In addition to an Alaska project office, ORPC has subsidiaries in Montreal, Dublin, and Punta Arenas, Chile. See: