Tidal firm world first

LOUTH-based tidal technology specialist OpenHydro and French utility company EDF and have announced that the project to deploy the first of four 16m tidal turbines off the coast of Paimpol-Bréhat is now in the final stages of preparation.

LOUTH-based tidal technology specialist OpenHydro and French utility company EDF and have announced that the project to deploy the first of four 16m tidal turbines off the coast of Paimpol-Bréhat is now in the final stages of preparation.

The first turbine assembled at DCNS’ shipyard in Brest was towed on August 31 from the harbour to commence a series of commissioning tests at sea prior to installation.

This is the first stage of a project which in 2012 will create the world’s largest tidal array generating power onto the French grid. The turbines are supplied by the Greenore company OpenHydro and each has the capacity to generate over 2MW of energy.

Commenting on this latest development, OpenHydro Chief Executive James Ives said: “We are delighted to be working with EDF on what is set to be the world’s first large-scale, grid-connected tidal energy farm and France’s first offshore tidal installation.

“EDF’s vision to develop this exciting project places France and EDF at the forefront of this new form of renewable energy generation.”

The turbine will now be towed to the deployment site off the island of Bréhat, near Paimpol in Côtes-d’Armor, where it will be deployed on the seabed at a depth of 35 metres. For two months the turbine and subsea base, which have a combined weight of 850 tonnes and a height of 22 metres, will be tested.