This paper discusses tidal, ocean, and river free turbine functional design parameters and general considerations associated with tidal field developments. A particular focus is on the importance of considering mechanical fatigue and the associated calculation method when designing a turbine for the challenging hydrodynamic environment. The balance between high‐fatigue resistances, costs associated with designing components, and potential for reduced turbine efficiency is discussed in regards to the potential energy extracted from a field site. A novel flexible foil vertical turbine concept with high‐fatigue resistance, and simple installation and retrieval methods is shown to have a low kWh cost per production output compared to other hydrodynamic turbine concepts. Three possible field development concepts for the flexible foil turbine are described herein for river, ocean current, and tidal applications.