World's first grid-connected tidal array almost complete

"OpenHydro, DCNS and EDF have worked hand in hand to deliver this milestone," said OpenHydro CEO James Ives.
By Brooks Hays  |  Updated May 31, 2016 at 4:42 PM
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PAIMPOL, France, May 31 (UPI) -- A French energy company is a step closer to bringing the world's first grid-­connected tidal array online.

Over the weekend, the second of two turbines was lowered into the water off the coast of Brittany. The first turbine was installed in January.

The Paimpol-Bréhat tidal array project and the energy it generates is owned by EDF, a French electric utility company, but the turbines are being built and installed by OpenHydro, a DCNS company. DCNS is a naval defense and energy firm in France.

"OpenHydro, DCNS and EDF have worked hand in hand to deliver this milestone for the tidal energy industry," James Ives, CEO of OpenHydro, said in a news release. "Paimpol-Bréhat is a global industry first; giving us key insights into the operation of our turbines at array scale."

The turbines will be connected, and the array will be linked to a power converter designed by General Electric. The converter will run a single cable to the coast, which will deliver 1 megawatt of power to the French electrical grid.

Once connected over the summer, the array will be the world's first grid-connected tidal energy farm. According to EDF, it will be the largest tidal energy farm in the world.

The tidal array is located near Paimpol, a mile off the northern coast of France. It took a day for the turbine to be towed from the French port of Brest to the tidal array, where a purpose-built barge deployed the turbine within an hour.

"On a technical and industrial level, it will help us prepare for delivery of EDF Energies Nouvelles' Normandie Hydro project - a 14 MW array set to be deployed in 2018," Ives said.

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