HydroQuest and CMN group to build Tidal demonstrator

French comapnies HydroQuest and Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) have collaborated for the launch of a new demonstration project for the tidal energy sector.

The new project is supported by the University of Caen Normandie and involves the installation of an ocean-based 1 MW hydrokinetic tidal turbine at the Paimpol-Bréhat site.

This forms the part of an agreement with EDF and will be commenced from the second half of next year.

The machine will be validated under real operating conditions and an international commercialisation is being planned for 2019.

CMN chief executive officer Pierre Balmer said: "The partnership surrounding the demonstrator is part of our growth strategy for marine renewable energies, a sector which will become one of the pillars for our company over time, in addition to our historical activity in naval construction.

"This project, which further solidifies the collaboration we have established with HydroQuest over the past several years, confirms the launch of a French tidal hydrokinetic turbine industry in which we are now present alongside HydroQuest."  

The turbine, HydroQuest Ocean, works as a cross-flow turbine and its technology allows fixation to the foundation without any production loss.  

It is made up of only metal that provides resistance to water, while
itwill also come with adjustable height and will be less expensive corresponding to its minimal manufacturing and maintenance costs.

HydroQuest chief executive officer Jean-François Simon said: "Being selected by ADEME demonstrates real recognition by the State of our HydroQuest hydrokinetic turbine technology, which has already proven its effectiveness in river scenarios.

"Following the validation of our demonstrator's operation, our goal will be to implement pilot farms with a few turbines in France and around the world.

"We will then move forward with the installation of commercial farms starting in 2019, thus participating in the energy transition that is already taking place."

The tidal turbine will be built at CMN workshops in Cherbourg and then will be ocean-tested under real operating conditions for several months.