“Europe’s largest” tidal energy scheme to start in 2021 off Alderney

Tidal power developer SIMEC Atlantis Energy has announced the formation of a joint venture company with the Development Agency for Normandy to develop a large-scale tidal power project between the Cotentin Peninsula and the island of Alderney.

Construction on what SIMEC calls "Europe’s largest planned Tidal Power Project" is set to begin in 2021.

Normandie Hydrolienne will be established with the economic development agency for Normandy and regional investment fund Normandie Participations.

The aim is to install subsea turbines along the Alderney Race, or Raz Blanchard: the 13km sea passage between France and the Channel Island, which is said to have the fiercest tides in Europe.

Altogether, Atlantis estimates that it will be possible to generate 2GW of electricity from the tidal energy.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive of SIMEC Atlantis, commented: "Raz Blanchard is sitting on a huge amount of renewable, predictable energy and we wish to bring our project development, financing and power production expertise to help the region of Normandie create jobs and attract a substantial amount of investment into the region.  

"Our techno-economic feasibility study plans for the delivery of an initial 1GW of operational capacity by 2025, which could be quickly expanded to 2GW by 2027, at a levelised cost that is competitive with offshore wind farms currently in construction in France."

Atlantis is already working on the MyGen tidal power plant in the Pentland Firth, between John o’Groats and the Orkney Islands. This scheme envisions 269 turbines spinning on the seabed by 2020, generating about 400MW of power.

Image: Atlantis’ AR1500, being installed in the Pentland Firth MyGen project (SIMEC Atlantis Energy)

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