GDF SUEZ signs partnership agreement to develop Alderney Race tidal project as early as 2016

February 7th, 2013 by GDF Suez

The HyTide marine turbine by Voith Hydro (click image to expand - ©Voith Hydro)

GDF SUEZ has signed a partnership agreement with Cofely Endel, its subsidiary specialized in industrial maintenance, the hydro turbine equipment design company Voith Hydro, the French shipbuilder Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) and ACE.

Through this partnership, GDF SUEZ reaffirms its marine energy ambitions and it commitment, working with industrial companies with complementary expertise and local interests, to develop a pilot plant at Raz Blanchard (Alderney Race) as early as 2016.

Through this industrial partnership agreement GDF SUEZ and its partners will be able to combine their know-how and collaborate through the construction, assembly, and maintenance phases of the future Raz Blanchard pilot plant.

The Group selected the Voith Hydro-designed “HyTide” marine technology to outfit all or part of this pilot plant.

The HyTide marine turbine by Voith Hydro (click image to expand - image ©Voith Hydro)

The partnership is also made up of ACE and CMN, whose location at the port of Cherbourg is an advantage for carrying out these operations, which for the most part must be performed near the site of immersion of the marine turbines.

Cofely Endel, also based at Cherbourg, will provide its industrial maintenance skills and technical project management expertise for this type of enterprise.

The aim of GDF SUEZ is to contribute to creating an industrial marine current sector in France and develop a project that respects the local environment.

Therefore, the Group works with maritime and administrative authorities, not-for-profit organizations, and fishermen to accommodate local economic activities and the particularities of the site.

During the summer of 2012, the Group also embarked on a thorough offshore campaign at Raz Blanchard of measures enabling it to improve its knowledge of the site, in particular seabed characteristics, water depths and currents, and the makeup of marine sediments.

After the United Kingdom, France has the second largest tidal power potential in Europe.

As France’s premier tidal power site, Raz-Blanchard alone accounts for 50% of this potential and, with the Passage du Fromveur in Brittany, is one of two projects being carried out in France by GDF SUEZ.

The Group’s objective is to obtain approvals to install in 2016 a pilot plant of three to six turbines representing power of 3 to 12 MW.

The plant is an indispensable first step to confirm the economic and technical viability of the technologies in order ultimately to build a larger industrial tidal power plant in the area.

GDF SUEZ has made renewable energy one of its major areas of development, with currently nearly 50% of its nearly 10,000 MW of installed power capacity in France made up of renewable energy technologies.

The Group is a leader in onshore wind power in France, with close to 1,200 MW in operation, and is the country’s second largest hydropower producer with 3,800 MW of installed capacity.


1 Response to “GDF SUEZ signs partnership agreement to develop Alderney Race tidal project as early as 2016”

  1. Mumtaz Alam

    Hi Sir/Madam
    I’m an M.Eng Electrical Engineering student at the University of Windsor Canada. I am currently researching on the “Tidal Energy in Electrical Power Systems” and I need to calculate inputs and outputs of a marine current tubine of 1 MW power. I need some information from you on (a)How to calculate the input parameters (tidal water property, resistance co-efficients, tidal range data etc)?
    (b) how to calculate the out put power? (c) How to use tidal flow of 2 to 5 m/s, 5-16 meters vertically and 2-5 Kilometers horizontallyto extract power?
    I’ll be very grateful if you reply in your earliest possible time as I have short deadline to submitt the project.
    Best Regards
    Alam, M

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