The world’s first assembly plant for OpenHydro tidal turbines was inaugurated today in Cherbourg in the presence of numerous representatives of the Normandy authorities and foreign delegations. Built in just ten months, this plant will start the production of the first two turbines for Canada and Japon. The plant will also supply tidal turbines for all French commercial farms.
Keen to participate in the creation of a marine renewable energy industrial sector in Normandy, Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region and Ports Normands Associés (PNA), Marc Lefèvre, President of the Manche Département, Jean-Louis Valentin, President of the Communauté d’Agglomération du Cotentin and Benoît Arrivé, Mayor of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, were attending the ceremony. They reiterated their commitment to this joint project to build a tidal-turbine plant, a driver for economic growth and jobs in the Region.
Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Environment, and Denis Naughten, Minister for Communication, Climate Change and Environment of the Republic of Ireland also showed their support for this initiative. It marks France’s ambitions in the fight against global warming and the will to reindustrialize the continent.
The inauguration of this plant by Laurent Schneider Maunoury, Chairman and CEO of Naval Energies and OpenHydro embodies the start of the industrial phase for tidal turbines and represents a decisive step in the development of this renewable energy in France and around the world.
Laurent Schneider Maunoury declared : “Today, Naval Energies is writing a new page in industrial history on the emerging market of tidal turbines. We have the capacity to build a tidal turbine of a diameter of 16 metres every two weeks. The priority for OpenHydro today is to ensure the success of the international demonstration projects and prepare the ramping up of the Normandie Hydro pilot project, in Raz Blanchard. Beyond that, we urgently need commercial visibility and hope for decisions from States, and in particular France, to launch a call for tenders for commercial farms.”
The world’s first assembly plant
The plant’s activity should be progressively increased up to its maximum production throughput of 25 turbines/year. The first two turbines that will be assembled in the plant are intended for Japanese and Canadian clients, Kyuden Mirai Energy and Cape Sharp Tidal, respectively. The continuation of the production should be taken by the Normandie Hydro project with a further seven turbines. Besides France, several other countries, such as Canada, Japon, Chile or Indonesia are watching the use of this technology with interest.
Some data on the plant:
Normandie Hydro in brief
The Normandy Hydro project, led by EDF Energies Nouvelles in partnership with Naval Energies, involves the installation of seven tidal turbines in the Raz Blanchard. With a total capacity of 14 MW, this tidal farm will be connected to the grid by 2020, supplying approximately 13,000 inhabitants with electricity.
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