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SIMEC Atlantis Energy has announced the formation of a joint venture company, Normandie Hydrolienne, for the purpose of developing a large-scale tidal energy project in the Alderney Race, also known as Raz Blanchard, an eight-mile (13km) strait that runs between Alderney, an island in the English Channel, and La Hague, France.
Atlantis will hold a majority stake in Normandie Hydrolienne alongside Development Agency for Normandy, the regional agency for economic development, and regional investment fund Normandie Participations.
The company intends to eventually harness up to 2 GW of power from the Alderney Race, as well as more than 1 GW of resource from adjacent concessions under the control of the States of Alderney.
It will first investigate the techno-economic feasibility of a multi-hundred-megawatt tidal energy project to be located in the Alderney Race, which could be expanded into an even larger project. A key determining factor in the feasibility of the project is whether energy could be delivered profitably at a price that is less than the current offshore wind feed-in-tariff of EUR150 (~US$170 million) per MWh (for projects to be delivered between 2021-23).
Should this be deemed feasible, the company will seek to build a demonstration array in the strait using AR2000, 2 MW horizontal axis turbines, which would be built in France. The timing of commissioning of the demonstration array will depend on consenting, permitting and financing.
Subject to all of the above, Atlantis aims to have a full multi-hundred-megawatt array online by 2024.
Normandie Hydrolienne will be incorporated in Normandy where it will immediately establish a commercial presence and commence work on identifying a suitable site for turbine assembly, production and commissioning in Normandy.
Consents for the project must be secured from France's Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) and the Alderney Commission. Normandie Hydrolienne has not yet commenced any commercial negotiations with the States of Alderney, but looks forward to being afforded the opportunity engage in constructive dialogue to harness the considerable natural resource surrounding the island.