Recently the first of four tidal turbines were launched off Paimpol-Bréhat (Côtes d’Armor) on the coast of Brittany, to transform the energy of ocean currents into electricity.
The first phase is designed to test a machine in real conditions. You should know that the turbine with a capacity of 500 kilowatts is 16 meters in diameter, and all reached about 700 tons!
After installing the first turbine at the site of Horaine, it will be tested a few months without network connection. Then the turbine will be out of the water and stored on the installation barge, the time to make changes or maintenance, and pending the second phase.
The purpose is to verify the technical choices and possibly improve performance and installation requirements and to limit the industrial and environmental risks in the development of the park from 4 machines. The results will validate the following in particular: design / manufacturing / installation / maintenance / environmental impact.
A submarine cable connection to the land (15 km) to the right of the loop of Launay is also planned. Commissioning industrial park demonstration is expected in late summer 2012.
The company is the designer of OpenHydro turbines while the French shipbuilder (DCNS) is responsible for assembling the first equipment at its facility in Brest. Thus, the total investment was estimated at 40 million euros, for a total capacity of 2 megawatts (MW).
DCNS has launched a few years ago, in a new field of innovation and development: marine energy. According to the French specialist in naval defense, they represent “a potential source of even more interesting because the 15% of people worldwide who are still without electricity in 2030, 80% live in coastal areas “.
In late January 2011, DCNS has acquired a stake in its Irish OpenHydro up to 8%, a value of 14 million euros.
In the hexagon, two sites are particularly suitable for the recovery of the marine energy: the Raz Blanchard on the coast of the Cotentin (Manche) and Fromveur, located at the westernmost tip of Brittany, between the islands of Molène and the island of Ouessant.
DCNS has also launched in 2010 a feasibility study of a farm of 20 MW of turbines at the Raz Blanchard, in the Channel. The installation of the first machines could be from 2014/2015.