Millions of Euros to be Spent Developing Tidal Energy Industry in Normandy

VH_Gezeitenturbine1Normandy is set to play an important role in the development of wave power with the ports of Cherbourg and Caen-Ouistreham undergoing a multi million euro expansion and hundreds of jobs being created.
The ports will play a key role in the development of tidal energy projects in the area as they are close to the Raz Blanchard, one of the world’s largest sites for tidal power, in the English Channel.
The Ports of Normandy Authority (PNA) has announced a €60 million expansion plan which will see facilities at Cherbourg increase by 35 hectares to make it suitable for tidal projects and to attract tidal developers and equipment manufacturers to the site.
‘The port of Cherbourg is ideally located for constructing, maintaining and running future tidal energy farms thanks to its close proximity to the Raz Blanchard, located in the English Channel, which is known for its very strong currents, hence its high potential for tidal power,’ the PNA said in a statement.
‘However, installing tidal energy generators is only possible if the port of Cherbourg can be extended by 35 hectares, a significant physical development for the port,’ it added.
The expansion will be located on reclaimed land to the east and the north of Terre Plein des Flamands and Terre Plein des Mielles, effectively extending the port into the outer harbour, with construction work due to start next year.
EDF and multinational engineering company Alstom are locating their offshore wind turbine operations in Cherbourg. France’s aim to meet 23% of energy demand from renewable sources by 2020.
Meanwhile, the first tidal turbine from German manufacturer Voith is being assembled and tested in Cherbourg before it is delivered to the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney in Scotland.
The 160 tonne turbine is now at the Shipyard Constructions Méchaniques de Normandie (CMN) and due to be delivered to Scotland at the end of May.
Also DCNS is developing tidal turbine operations in Cherbourg which will see a new plant opening on the Quai des Flamands which could be ready for operation in 2014 with 100 turbines a year being produced by 2018.
Laurent Beauvais, President of the Lower Normandy Region, said that regional politians are backing the development of a full scale renewable energy industry the area. ‘The space will house a facility managed by DCNS to manufacture, assemble and maintain tidal turbines, and could employ several hundred people,’ he explained.
Patrick Boissier, chairman and chief exeuctive officer of DCNS, said the firm intends to be a world leader in the tidal energy market. ‘We both want the new plant to be the first of its kind in Europe. With this new production facility, DCNS is helping to strengthen the local industrial fabric and promoting job creation in the Cherbourg area,’ he pointed out.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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