MHK Project Portfolio

As part of our technology market development activity for Tocardo, we are entering the arena of Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) project development. For this, we are following a 2-tier approach:

  1. Develop greenfield demonstration/pilot-scale projects in the US
  2. Collaborate with existing MHK developers that have preliminary FERC-permits in place. These are concentrated in New York and along the Mississippi.

TocardoWith respect to the ‘one off’ pilot/demonstration projects, the costs involved with licensing, environmental permitting, monitoring, etc. are prohibitive to create a self-supporting business case for such limited power generation. It is therefore that we are seeking local, state, federal and private sector funding to support such initiatives. The argument being that building a project like this will open up the market for larger-scale deployment downstream.

Under the 2nd market approach, we expect that the production of large numbers of turbines in the US will lead to sufficient economies of scale to make in-river and tidal projects viable in the US. Below are a couple of starting points:

  • Realistic PPA price of produced energy per MWh  < $55 (realistic “what the market can bear” market requirement)
  • Realistic green premium per MWh $10 / MWh (educated guess, current expiring federal support is $22 / MWh, but we are anticipating this to be reduced)
  • Resulting roughly in:
    • Estimated maximum price of a turbine for developer $1500-$1700 /kW
    • Estimated total turnkey CAPEX for projects $2,700 / kW
    • > 5500 full load hours for in river projects

With such ambitious goals we will be able to engineer a deal with the existing developers. They have a very large number of projects. For them the value of those projects becomes real once a good and cost effective technology becomes available. We are confident that if that fact can be convincingly demonstrated, they have the background and clout to engineer and close the financing. These partners have > 7,500 MW of MHK under development. Even if only 5% is realizable at first, this would still mean production of 2,000-3,000 turbines over a long period of time.

Through its own technology development activities, RNE looks to overcome many of the challenges faced by the MHK industry, namely: depth constraints and debris concerns. The PAX Rotor can harness more hydrokinetic energy in 40-60% shallower waters than conventional horizontal axis MHK rotors. The PAX Rotor’s streamlined shape should also lead to excellent debris handling properties, non-fouling characteristics and non-cavitating properties, supporting a path towards higher capacity factors, reduced maintenance and repair costs and increased up-time.