ORPC Ireland has secured funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to explore feasible tidal energy sites for development in the coastal waters of County Donegal.

The company will review the current resource information, assess grid accessibility, identify existing marine users and sensitive environmental areas.

It will also evaluate supply chain viability, and carry out community engagement activities.

ORPC Ireland said it will use the similar phased approach to project development that has demonstrated with its Maine tidal energy project, and its RivGen power system project in Igiugig, Alaska, US.

SEAI plans to stimulate the development and deployment of ocean energy devices and systems via its Ocean Energy Prototype Development Fund.

SEAI CEO Brian Motherway said: "SEAI is committed to facilitating the development of new technologies and projects that will harness Ireland’s rich ocean energy resource. County Donegal has been identified as a region of high potential for tidal energy in Ireland’s Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan.

"We are delighted to support ORPC Ireland in conducting this feasibility study in partnership with Donegal County Council to identify development opportunities and form a critical first step in realizing this potential."

ORPC said County Donegal features more mainland coastline than any other county in Ireland (705 miles).