Tidal energy company SIMEC Atlantis Energy (Atlantis) has said that the Prefecture de la Manche in France has approved the transfer of the lease to develop a 12MW tidal power project in Raz Blanchard from ENGIE to Normandie Hydroliennes.
Normandie Hydroliennes is the marine energy development company set up between Atlantis, the Development Agency for Normandy (AD Normandie), the regional agency for economic development in Normandy, the regional investment fund Normandie Participations and local industrial group EFINOR, which provides high-end engineering services and manufacturing support for the naval, nuclear, and aerospace industries.
Normandie Hydroliennes has been working with the French Environmental and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and all relevant government ministries over the past 12 months to obtain the relevant approvals for the transfer for what will be the first stage of a potential multi-hundred-megawatt project marine energy project in Raz Blanchard, Atlantis said.
Raz Blanchard, Lower Normandy, is France's strongest tidal current and holds 50% of the national tidal power potential. Owning 49% of the JV, Atlantis is the main shareholder and is seeking to expand this collaboration into a larger tidal project in Normandy and Alderney territorial waters. Normandie Hydroliennes has the long-term goal to harness up to 2GW of power from the Alderney Race, the eight-mile strait that runs between Alderney and La Hague, France, as well as more than 1GW of resource from adjacent concessions under the control of the States of Alderney.
Tim Cornelius, CEO of SIMEC Atlantis Energy, said: "We are delighted to have received the relevant approvals to transfer this lease which will allow us to now immediately progress with the development of one of the largest tidal power arrays in Europe. The territorial waters of Normandy have huge untapped tidal power resource and material progress can now be made in setting up the infrastructure and supply chain required in Normandy to deliver this €50+m project.
"This approval will allow us to get on with the task of delivering sustainable power to this region while also creating local jobs and attracting substantial investment in the area. Normandie Hydrolienne is committed to ensuring that this array is the catalyst for the installation and delivery of at least 1GW of operational capacity in the Alderney Race, which could be quickly expanded to 2GW with the right investment, government support and collaboration with developers from across France."