Ocean Renewable Power Co., a Portland business that develops hydrokinetic power systems, has reorganized to allow founder Chris Sauer to focus on financing and forming strategic partnerships for the 13-year-old company.

On Tuesday, Sauer transitioned from president and CEO to co-founder and CEO, while John Ferland was promoted to president and chief operational officer.

“The responsibilities of day-to-day company management and the requirements of securing new investment and developing essential strategic partnerships are very large and critical undertakings for one person to manage effectively and efficiently,” Sauer said in a news release announcing the change. “We are very lucky to have such a qualified and quality leader as John Ferland on our team to step up and move us forward seamlessly steering ORPC operations.”

ORPC’s Cobscook Bay project was the first in the U.S. to build, operate and deliver power to a utility grid from a hydrokinetic tidal project, and it also developed and installed a remote community grid from a hydrokinetic river project in Alaska.

Currently ORPC has ongoing, funded projects totaling $16 million, but is also looking for new opportunities in high-cost power markets, notably in Québec, where forming essential partnerships is the key to success, said Sauer.

To help the company pursue that growth, other personnel changes were announced.

Nate Hayes and Matt Wilson were hired for ORPC’s engineering team. In ORPC’s Ireland office, James Donegan was promoted to lead electrical engineer and director of European operations.

ORPC now has 22 employees working in three countries. In addition to company headquarters in Portland, an operations center in Eastport and a project office in Anchorage, Alaska, there are wholly owned subsidiaries of ORPC in Montreal (Énergies Marines Renouvelables Québécoises) and Dublin (ORPC Ireland).

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