Tidal energy : DCNS
President Hollande was in Cherbourg on September 30th to launch a call for expressions of interest for the construction of 3 to 4 pilot farms composed of 5 to 10 tidal stream generators (underwater turbines that convert the energy of sea currents into electricity), a project that could be funded by the "Programme for future investments" amounting to 30 million euros per farm.
Among the interested companies is the DCNS group, a military construction company which is 64% controlled by the French State and 35% controlled by Thalès, and which, since the beginning of the year, has a majority stake in the Irish company OpenHydro. This company "today boasts the most mature and most promising technology in the area of tidal expertise," according to Patrick Boissier, CEO of DCNS.
Already established in Cherbourg for its naval activity, DCNS has added an industrial site for the manufacture, installation and maintenance of the first turbines in the ‘Raz Blanchard’, one of the most promising sites in the world for the exploitation of tidal energy which will be entering the French energy mix.
Six turbines have already been tested at sea and have demonstrated their functioning. The rate of potential output in the last trials in Scotland was 98%.
These products are among the "34 products of new industrial France", innovating projects supported by the Ministry for Production Recovery (Ministère du Redressement Productif).