French Trio Scraps Tidal Pilot

Developers behind the in-river tidal energy pilot on the river Rhône in the eastern France have decided not to move forward with the project.

Team involved in the project comprised the French electricity generation company, Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR), hydrokinetic technology developer, HydroQuest, shipbuilder Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN).

Representing an investment of €12 million, the project was selected under a call for projects launched by French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) in summer 2015. ADEME approved the construction in 2017.

The project included the installation of a farm of 30 turbines with a total installed capacity of 2 MW and an average annual production 6,700 MWh.

The initial deal saw HydroQuest providing the turbines for the project, manufactured by CMN, while CNR was taking charge of project development, engineering, operation and maintenance.

Site constraints were said to be the main reason behind the project shutdown, which after two years of technical studies and hydraulic modelling of the turbine fleet, lead to excessive operating losses at the Génissiat hydroelectric plant.

However, the project partners said that the decision to call off the project doesn’t call into question the technology of tidal turbines.