France backs EEL Energy with multi-million grant

EEL Energy has received €3.7 million from the French government for the development of its new generation tidal energy device.

French tidal energy developer EEL will use the funds for the development of its 1MW tidal energy prototype based on undulating membrane technology.

The funding was secured through French government’s Future Investment Program (PIA), and follows EEL’s capital increase of nearly €3 million from June this year.

Jean-Baptiste Drevet, President of EEL Energy, said: “This support from the PIA complements our recent successful fundraising. This enhances our financial visibility, as we will soon launch the project to design and build a 1MW machine. This decision also illustrates to the confidence that the public authorities place in our technology.”

EEL tidal energy converter consists of a membrane that optimizes energy transfer by coupling fluid flow with an undulating structure.

The membrane undulates under moving fluid pressure, and this periodic motion is transformed into electricity by an electromechanical system.

The energy is converted along the whole length of the rubber membrane surface.

Thomas Sennelier, Head of Cleantech at Bpifrance, added: “This innovation, which breaks with conventional tidal turbines, will make it possible to exploit currents with lower velocity, and to extend the exploitation of tidal technologies to new areas. It also illustrates the strong potential of biomimicry as a lever for innovation and competitiveness.”

Bpifrance, a public investment bank, is the manager of R&D and Competitiveness Projects (PSPC) of the PIA, under which EEL secured the funding. It is led by the French Commissariat-General for Investment (CGI).

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