France supports 17.5-MW FloWatt tidal pilot with EUR 65m
HydroQuest tidal turbine. Image by Ocean Energy Europe (www.oceanenergy-europe.eu)
The French government will provide at least EUR 65 million (USD 71.4m) of funding for the 17.5-MW FloWatt tidal energy pilot project, the Minister for the Energy Transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, announced last week.
The project, being developed by Hydroquest and French renewable power producer Qair, is also set to benefit from preferential purchase price from the electricity generated.
The financial support is aimed at helping to make the technology competitive for both the French market and for export.
The pilot project will have seven 2.5-MW turbines, which will be manufactured at French shipyard Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) and installed in Normandy’s Raz Blanchard, a site with very strong currents. It is expected to start operations in 2026, providing power for 20,000 people for 20 years.
The government funding for the world’s biggest tidal farm was welcomed by Ocean Energy Europe.
“This commitment by the French government brings the number of countries supporting tidal energy revenues & installations to four, after the UK, China and Canada. Other EU Member States need to take heed if Europe is to secure its supply of indigenous, low-cost electricity and avoid further energy crises,” said Ocean Energy Europe’s chief executive Remi Gruet.
The EU has a target of 40 GW of ocean energy, excluding offshore wind, by 2050.