Global Ocean Group to Fund French Tidal Project
Global trade association Ocean Energy Europe has hailed the French government’s announcement of at least €65m of funding, plus dedicated revenue support, for the pioneering tidal energy pilot farm FloWatt.
Announced by the Minister for the Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the move signals a huge step forward for the tidal energy sector in France and lights the way for other EU Member States to follow, said the group.
FloWatt will be the biggest tidal farm in the world, with the most turbines and largest capacity.
According to Ocean Energy Europe, the funding demonstrates France’s trust in tidal energy as both an industrial opportunity and a key part of the energy transition and is a timely response to increased activity and investment in ocean energy in the U.S. and China.
The French backing is part of a broader push that needs to happen at the EU level to secure Europe’s electricity supply with more indigenous production, stated OEE.
Due to start operating in 2026, France’s first tidal pilot farm will meet the electricity needs of 20,000 people for 20 years.
FloWatt is a strategic collaboration between project developer Qair, technology developer HydroQuest, and industrial partner Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN). Building on a successful two-year test program in Paimphol-Bréhat, the seven 2.5MW turbines will be installed in one of the most powerful tidal sites in the world, Normandy’s Raz Blanchard.
“This is of huge significance: we have been waiting for revenue support for new pilot farms since the first were put in the water in 2016,” said Ocean Energy Europe’s chief executive Rémi Gruet.
“Investors keep knocking on the door, but the lack of market visibility – provided by targets and finance – kept pushing them away. This commitment by the French government brings the number of countries supporting tidal energy revenues & installations to three, after the U.K. and China. 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,” Gruet added.