DCNS and EDF Energies Nouvelles selected for French tidal project

3 December 2014

DCNS and EDF Energies Nouvelles are to work on a pilot tidal project that will see the installation of an array of seven tidal turbines with a total installed power of 14MW in the Raz Blanchard, off the French coast of Normandy.

The turbines, which are based on the latest technology developed by DCNS subsidiary OpenHydro, will have a unit power output of 2 MW and will be connected to the power grid in 2018.

The firms were selected to work on the Normandie Hydro project by the French Prime Minister following a comprehensive process of Expressions of Interest and recommendation by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).

Originally announced in Cherbourg in September 2013 by the French President, François Hollande, the goal of this project (launched under the "Investing for the Future" program) is to support the installation of pre-commercial farms to foster the consolidation of the tidal turbine sector in France.

"The selection of this project by ADEME gives a further push to the development of a French tidal energy industry, for which Cherbourg will be the driver," said Thierry Kalanquin, Chairman of OpenHydro and Director of the Marine Energy and Infrastructure Division of DCNS. "The array that we will deploy in the Raz Blanchard, along with EDF Energies Nouvelles, will allow us to meet market schedules and respond to future calls for tender for future commercial tidal turbine arrays, both in France and around the world".

"The selection of the Normandie Hydro project is a recognition of the high-quality work of the EDF Energies Nouvelles and DCNS teams on this innovative technology," added Antoine Cahuzac, managing director of EDF Energies Nouvelles. "Marine energies are promising sectors for the future and EDF Energies Nouvelles, and more generally the EDF group, has the aim of contributing to their industrial competitiveness."

The firms are set to start the pre-commercial phase and achieve key project milestones around the following timeframes: In 2015, to continue with the consultation process, finalize project development and obtain the necessary administrative authorizations; and in 2018, make the final connection of the tidal turbine array to the power grid.

The project is set to build on the deployment of the pilot Paimpol-Bréhat tidal array in northern Brittany, which for OpenHydro and EDF will install two tidal turbines off the coast of Paimpol in 2015.

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