The French government has announced at least €65 million of funding, plus dedicated revenue support, for the pioneering tidal energy farm FloWatt.
The announcement made by the Minister for the Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, signals a huge step forward for the tidal energy sector in France and lights the way for other countries to follow.
Flowatt will be the biggest tidal farm in the world, with the most turbines and largest capacity - a true flagship project.
Interreg FCE funded TIGER (Tidal Stream Industry Energiser) project has played a key role in promoting the benefits of tidal energy and its role in the future France/UK energy mix, providing evidence to regulators and government in France and the UK.
This latest announcement from the French government demonstrates France’s trust in tidal energy as both an industrial opportunity and a key part of the energy transition. Similarly, the UK government signalled its trust in 2022 when it announced for the first time that revenue subsidy had been allocated to four tidal stream projects through its competitive Contract for Difference scheme.
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 tidal energy farm is a strategic collaboration between technology developer HydroQuest, project developer Qair and industrial partner Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN).
Building on a successful two-year test programme in Paimpol-Bréhat, the seven 2.5MW turbines will be installed in one of the most powerful tidal sites in the world, Normandy’s Raz Blanchard.
HydroQuest is one of 18 project partners from the UK and France behind the TIGER project, whose mission is to develop and test new technologies for tidal energy, and to make a stronger, cost-effective case for tidal energy as part of the France/UK energy mix.
The TIGER project has supported HydroQuest on three key activities that have contributed towards the development of FloWatt:
· One-year extension for the operation of HydroQuest’s 1MW turbine (key learnings of which fed into new generation design)
· Design of the new 2.5 MW turbine generation
· Early-stage development of the HydroQuest pilot farm project (now named FloWatt), with mainly consenting variation and grid connection
You can keep up to date with the latest news and activities from the TIGER project on their website here: TIGER: Tidal Stream Industry Energiser project (interregtiger.com)