Construction officially started today on a tidal turbine plant in Cherbourg, representing a decisive step in the development of tidal energy in France and around the world according to the developers.
With a production capacity of 25 turbines per year, the future plant will ensure the assembly and maintenance of the tidal turbines for the Normandie Hydro project, led by Naval Energies and its subsidiary OpenHydro in partnership with EDF Energies Nouvelles, followed by commercial arrays. It will also serve as an industrial base for other pre-commercial projects developed by the Group around the world.
Start of production is foreseen for the first quarter of 2018. Some forty persons will work in the plant on turbine assembly. The plant has been designed to be modular and could be extended to increase its production capacity in view of future commercial farms.
"It is not just by chance that this plant is located in Cherbourg,” commented Thierry Kalanquin, CEO of Naval Energies. “The proximity of Raz Blanchard, characterised by tidal currents among the strongest in the world, coupled with the presence of port infrastructures that are suited to heavy industry and a powerful power network, make this region a prime choice for exploiting tidal energy.
“I am proud and impatient to see this plant rise out of the ground, which is the concrete realisation of a joint goal, shared with the region of Normandy and all the local authorities that have been supporting us for many years, to make Cherbourg the flagship of a tidal-turbine industrial sector, creating jobs and economic returns for the region".