Illustration/Sabella's D10 tidal turbine (Courtesy of Sabella)

French launch €1.5M project to decarbonize island power grids

A collaborative project dubbed OPTILE has been launched in France with the aim of decarbonizing the supply of electricity to island grids using offshore renewable energy.

Illustration/Sabella's D10 tidal turbine (Courtesy of Sabella)
Illustration/Sabella's D10 tidal turbine (Courtesy of Sabella)
Illustration/Sabella’s D10 tidal turbine (Courtesy of Sabella)

The 3-year OPTILE project, led by France Energies Marines, brings together a consortium of 10 partners including multi-energy company TotalEnergies, two developers of ocean energy technologies CorPower Ocean and Sabella, an aquaculture farm Saumon de France, and a specialist in energy storage and conversion solutions Entech Smart Energies.

Three academic institutions with complementary skills ENS Rennes, University of Nantes, and University of Reunion Island have also joined the project as partners.

The OPTILE collaborative research project will provide tools to decarbonize the supply of isolated grids (island, offshore platform, aquaculture farm), by increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix.

It will also make it possible to validate the electrical stability and protection against cyber risk of such a grid, according to project partners.

The challenge of decarbonizing island grids

Current electrification solutions for island territories are mainly based on the use of thermal power plants whose fuel supply is ensured by maritime transport from the continent.

As this mode of operation emits carbon and is expensive, the use of offshore renewable energy presents major interests from an ecological and economic point of view.

The latter will depend on the energy resources present in the vicinity of the site under consideration and the capacity to exploit them through recovery systems, the development of which is being boosted to meet these challenges.

The OPTILE project partners are keen to share the progress and results of their work with island grid systems operators.

They will therefore regularly organize public webinars during which it will be possible to exchange ideas with the project’s scientists and to propose future case studies.

“Let’s hope that synergies will emerge on these occasions and that they will contribute to the process of decarbonization of the energy balance initiated by the French State,” OPTILE project partners said.

The project has been funded by France Energies Marines and its members and partners, together with the French state funding managed by the National Research Agency under the France 2030 investment plan. It has also benefitted from the financial support of Brittany and Normandy regions

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