Three-bladed turbine positions for French tidal stream spinback

SIMEC Atlantis in-stream AR1500 tidal turbine deployed as part of MeyGen project (Photo: SIMEC Atlantis Energy)

In the fallout of the OpenHydro liquidation, the Chief Executive Officer of another tidal stream technology company Tim Cornelius said that SIMEC Atlantis Energy would be willing to engage in discussions with the French government to save the recently built Cherbourg tidal assembly plant, and deliver the EU-sanctioned Normandie Hydro tidal project within existing support mechanisms.

Reacting to Naval Energies’ decision to liquidate its tidal technology subsidiary OpenHydro, Tim Cornelius hinted SIMEC Atlantis Energy was prepared to act as a replacement for the liquidated outfit should the UK-based developer make progress with the French government on the development of large scale arrays in Normandy and Brittany.

SIMEC Atlantis in-stream AR1500 tidal turbine deployed as part of MeyGen project (Photo: SIMEC Atlantis Energy)

Given the European Commission’s approval for the Normandie Hydro scheme, and earlier plans of the now defunct developer OpenHydro to use Naval Energies’ newly built Cherbourg tidal assembly facility for the maintenance and assembly of tidal turbines for the project – Cornelius said his company would ‘be delighted’ to discuss the future of the Cherbourg plant as SIMEC Atlantis is currently running out of capacity at its facility at Nigg Energy Park in Scotland.

“Furthermore, given the EC approval overnight for the Normandie Hydro plant, we would be delighted to invest alongside existing shareholders and supply equipment to this project, if required.

“SIMEC Atlantis can deliver pilot farms in Normandie within existing support mechanisms which can be in operation in 2019/20 and commercial scale arrays for less than €70/MWh by 2025 making tidal power very competitive in French territorial waters using traditional three bladed horizontal axis turbines,” said Cornelius.

Empathizing with OpenHydro and its employees, SIMEC Atlantis said they will continue to work with governments, regulators and developers around the world to deliver commercial scale tidal power projects as the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) continues to fall for traditional three bladed pitching and yawing horizontal axis tidal turbine arrays.

“Earlier this year, we submitted a proposal for a 1GW tidal stream array in Raz Blanchard, Normandy to the French Government which would deliver power at less than the current price of offshore wind in France by 2025 and earlier this week, we welcomed the announcement by Claire Perry, UK Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, confirming that the next Contract for Difference auction for less established technologies will open by May next year and that subsequent auctions will be held every two years thereafter.

“That bold announcement provides welcome confirmation of the UK government’s long-term commitment to offshore renewables,” SIMEC Atlantis said in a statement.

The company added it will be bidding future phases of the MeyGen project and its wider portfolio in the auctions.