The new venture – Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies – will be majority owned by Voith Hydro (80%), with RWE Innogy holding the remaining 20%. The total investment guaranteed by both partners over the next few years equals over EUR 30M. The establishment of the joint venture is subject to the approval of the relevant anti-trust authorities.

“We are absolutely convinced: ocean current power stations will be an important building block within the energy mix of the future. The cooperation of two partners of such a high caliber is a milestone in the development and the marketing of this young technology,” said Dr. Hubert Lienhard, CEO of Voith AG. “Our common goal is to make ocean current technology competitive as quickly as possible. This is why the close partnership between project developer and plant operator is of special importance to us.”

Voith Hydro has been working on ocean currents technologies since 2005. By the end of this year, the company will deploy and test a 110kV prototype turbine off the South Korean coast. This initial test plant will form part of a planned power station project that – in the medium term – will generate electricity from ocean currents to produce several hundred megawatts. Further test plants in Europe will follow.

RWE Innogy has also been active in the field of power generation from ocean energy. The company plans to construct a 4MW wave power station off the Scottish coast this year. Additionally, there are plans for the construction of a 10.5MW ocean current power station off the Welsh coast in 2012.