France selects GDF SUEZ for French pilot tidal power farm

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France selects GDF SUEZ for French pilot tidal power farm

The GDF Suez project in the Alderney Race, Manche region, has been selected as the winner of the Call for Expression of Interest (CEI) for the Pilot Tidal Power Farms published by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).

GDF Suez will rely upon the studies the group has conducted at the site since 2009, and on the choice of reliable and proven technology. The project will use the Oceade tidal stream turbine, built by Alstom, which has already been tested numerous times at the European Marine Energy Centre, Scotland (EMEC), and which has brought over 1 GWh of electricity to date onto the electric grid.

The group has chosen the port of Cherbourg as the future industrial base for hosting assembly and maintenance activities for the pilot tidal power farm, thanks to its geographic proximity and its high-quality infrastructure.

The 4 turbines of the pilot farm will be connected to each other using an underwater electrical junction box, making it possible to power cotentin with just one cable. This innovative technology, developed by Alstom in association with GDF Suez in the scope of the Prismer project, won a previous CEI in “Demonstrators and Technological Building Blocks.”

Construction of this farm of 4 tidal turbines, for total power of 5.6 MW, is scheduled to begin in 2017, with an expected operational lifespan of 20 years.

GDF Suez is also pursuing its tidal power studies in the Fromveur area (Finistère) and has proposed to ADEME the exploration of a specific route accounting for the insular specificities of the area and electrical supply issues for Ushant Island.

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