Paimpol-Bréhat project: DCNS installs first turbine

OpenHydro's tidal turbine (Photo: DCNS)
OpenHydro’s tidal turbine (Photo: DCNS)

DCNS has deployed the first tidal turbine off Brittany, France, as part of the Paimpol-Bréhat tidal project.

The first 500 kW tidal turbine has been deployed at its planned location, and the operation took half an hour to complete, the company said on social media.

It was installed using a dedicated barge designed by DCNS/OpenHydro. Once the barge was stabilized, the turbine was lowered to the seabed using an innovative winch system equipped with hydraulic motors.

The operation was performed by 20 DCNS’ and OpenyHydro’s employees.

The second turbine, currently being assembled in Brest, is expected to be deployed in the following months.

DCNS will now connect the turbine to the French grid using the subsea converter constructed by GE. It will allow the electricity produced from the turbines to be transported as continuous electrical current to an onshore substation close to the Arcouest Peninsula in Ploubazlanec that will feed the electricity to the French grid.

James Ives, OpenHydro’s CEO, said: “The first of two OpenHydro tidal turbines on EDF’s Paimpol-Bréhat site has been successfully deployed. When both open-centre turbines are connected to the grid, before summer 2016, the project will be among the world’s first grid connected turbine arrays.

“The Paimpol-Bréhat development is an essential step in progressing towards commercial scale arrays. It will allow EDF and OpenHydro to benefit from invaluable experience and help prepare for the Normandie Hydro project, which will see seven tidal turbines in the Raz Blanchard by 2018.”

The Paimpol-Bréhat demonstration project, jointly developed by DCNS and EDF, involves the installation of two OpenHydro’s tidal turbines with combined capacity of 1 MW, 16 km off the coast of Brittany, France, at the water depths of 35 m.

The project is expected to pave the way for the deployment of pre-commercial tidal farms and the development of a tidal energy industrial sector in France.

[mappress mapid=”778″]