A study by marine power developer Atlantis Resources Ltd has concluded 2GW of tidal energy is immediately available to be harnessed in the Raz Blanchard, Normandy, with the potential to make 1GW operational by 2025.

Atlantis has submitted a strategic plan to the French government setting out plans to deliver 1GW by 2025 at Le Raz Blanchard which will drive the reduction of Levelized Cost Of Energy (“LCOE”) for tidal energy lower than any offshore wind farm currently under construction in France or in the UK when the final phase of the proposed 1GW project is commissioned. If implemented, Atlantis believes this would be the largest tidal power project in existence. The study also concluded that Le Raz Blanchard has one of the best tidal energy resources in the world and after the construction of the first 1GW the site could be quickly expanded to 2GW by 2027.

The plan concludes that the construction of a 2GW project in Le Raz Blanchard would attract €3.3 billion of investment and open up an export market worth an estimated €400 million in turbine sales each year and with potential to create 10,000 jobs.

France is actively involved in developing tidal stream experimentation sites and pilot projects in preparation of tidal commercial rounds recently announced by Environment secretary of state Sebastien Lecornu. Atlantis is actively pursuing an opportunity to develop a reference site in / off the Normandy coast and is seeking the assistance of the French Government to allow investments to be made in Normandy region’s local supply chain and maritime infrastructure. Atlantis’ plans for the French territorial waters will require the development of a strong local supply chain to fabricate the turbines and perform the offshore construction activities. In addition to potentially attracting over €3 billion in CAPEX investment, the Atlantis proposal includes the development of a dedicated, state of the art turbine assembly, testing and operations and maintenance facility in Normandy upon award of commercial tenders for large scale arrays. Discussions with French government and Normandy officials have taken place to discuss the industrial plan.

Studies commissioned by the French Government are currently underway to assess the best tidal power sites in French maritime waters ahead of commercial tenders. Conclusions from Maritime Prefectures are expected in June this year and Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables has been central in these works. The independent proposal compiled by Atlantis intends to build on the success of the MeyGen project in Scotland where more than 6GWh of predictable renewable power has been generated and in March 2018,  a new world record for monthly production from a tidal stream array was set with 1400MWh exported to grid.