Europe’s largest planned tidal power project is targeted to commence construction in 2021, after SIMEC Atlantis Energy signed a joint venture agreement with Development Agency for Normandy (AD Normandy) and regional investment fund Normandie Participations for the Raz Blanchard scheme.
The joint venture company, Normandie Hydrolienne, will establish an operational presence in Normandy, and Atlantis will hold a majority stake. The
JV has been established with the intention of eventually harnessing up to 2GW of power from the Alderney Race, the eight-mile strait that runs between Alderney and La Hague, France, as well as more than 1GW of resource from adjacent concessions under the control of the States of Alderney.
The proposed Raz Blanchard project has aspirations to:
- Investigate the techno-economic feasibility of a multi-hundred-megawatt tidal energy project to be located in Raz Blanchard initially which could be expanded into an even larger project making use of all of the unexploited resource present in The Alderney Race;
- Determine if it is possible to deliver energy profitably at a price that is less than the current offshore wind feed in tariff of €150/MWh (for projects to be delivered between 2021-23);
- Prepare an application for consent to build a multi-hundred-megawatt tidal energy project in Raz Blanchard and work closely with ADEME and all relevant government ministries to obtain all relevant approvals;
- Seek to build a demonstration array in Raz Blanchard array using AR2000, 2MW horizontal axis turbines which will be built in France. The timing of commissioning of the demonstration array will depend on consenting, permitting and financing;
- Have a full multi-hundred-megawatt array online by 2024 using AR2000 turbines.
“Raz Blanchard is sitting on a huge amount of renewable, predictable energy and we wish to bring our project development, financing and power production expertise to help the region of Normandie create jobs and attract a substantial amount of investment into the Region,” commented Tim Cornelius, CEO of SIMEC Atlantis. “Our techno-economic feasibility study plans for the delivery of an initial 1GW of operational capacity by 2025, which could be quickly expanded to 2GW by 2027, at a Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) competitive with offshore wind farms currently in construction in France.
“Raz Blanchard will be delivered in stages to allow the supply chain to grow in line with our expansion plans. We look forward to working with ADEME, RTE, AD Normandy and Normandie Participations to make tidal energy a reality in Normandy.”
Hervé Morin, Président de la Région Normandie added: “The Region of Normandie is blessed with huge tidal resource and has always been supporting the tidal industry, through investments on the port of Cherbourg, on R&D activities, and by facilitating the link between the training sector, the industry and the local supply chain. We have spent a lot of time, energy and money to foster the development of a clean, predictable energy that we believe is an amazing opportunity for our region.
“It is time for Normandie to become a pioneer in seeking to economically exploit this abundant source of energy and to once again show its commitment to the deployment of blue energy solutions. SIMEC Atlantis has an unparalleled record of delivering tidal energy projects and we look forward to making use of their experience to bring investment, collaboration and job creation to the region.”