West Normandy Marine Energy backs ADEME’s decision

West Normandy Marine Energy, the local public company supporting the development of Renewable Marine Energy (RME) industrial sector in West Normandy, endorses ADEME’s decision in the call-for-tender, which has chosen the consortia of Alstom/GDF Suez and DCNS/EDF Energies Nouvelles.

This 120 million euros budget call-for-tender plans the implementation of experimental tidal farms within high potential areas including Raz Blanchard, one of the strongest European sea current located off the coast of Cherbourg, West Normandy.

Initiated in September 2013 by ADEME, environmental national agency, this call-for-tender aims at supporting the realization of the pilot tidal energy farms, and to allow all stakeholders of this future sector to gain experience in a position to consolidate their future trade deals in France and abroad. French tidal potential could meet the electricity needs of more than 4 million inhabitants.

West Normandy represents one of the three best sites in the world, equivalent of 50 percent of European potential. The region benefits from the Channel’s highly powerful sea currents. These natural elements associated with available structural strengths (3 GW electricity network capability already available and ports infrastructures offering 100 hectares dedicated to RME) make West Normandy a privileged territory for RME.

The call-for-tender results confirm that West Normandy owns a world position beside countries like Scotland or Canada, in regards to tidal energy development.

“West Normandy Marine Energy welcomes call-for-tender results accepting Alstom/GDF Suez and DCNS/EDF Energies Nouvelles and is delighted to see world industrial leaders put their expertise at the service of a future energy,” announced Laurent Beauvais, President of West Normandy region and of West Normandy Marine Energy, Jean-François Le Grand, President of General Council of Manche and Benoit Arrivé, President of Cherbourg Urban Community.

Following on signed agreements between manufacturers and Associated Normandy Ports (ANP) planning on implementing platforms, currently in progress in Cherbourg (several dozen hectares booked by DCNS and Alstom), this new step will lead companies to develop their pilot farm in 2016 in order to gradually achieve the commercial stage by 2020.

To support the manufacturers in their development projects, West Normandy region, Manche General Council and ANP, with the support of Europe, have already invested 100 million euros into the port infrastructures development. The three presidents remain alert towards the Searieus project development, carried by CMN-Hydroquest and Valorem, and to the Tidalys project, which have not been awarded by the call-for-tender.

The three presidents added: “We reaffirm our support to the candidacy of CMN-Hydroquest and Tidalys, and we will pursue our supporting initiatives for these projects to find their place beside the two winners, especially under the support system to promising projects as the General Commission for investment will establish as announced by the Prime Minister at the congress of the Sea in Nantes.”

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Press Release; Image: WNME