Paris, July 12, 2023 – Qair, in collaboration with Hydroquest and their reference shareholder CMN (Cherbourg) are proud to announce the unprecedented support of the French government in the development of the Flowatt tidal turbine pilot farm at Raz Blanchard in the English Channel. This initiative, backed by the “France 2030” label with a minimum state investment of €65 million and a preferential feed-in tariff for the electricity produced, is set to become the largest tidal turbine farm in the world, positioning France as a leader in marine renewable energy.
Convinced by the strategic interest of tidal power and its potential in France and internationally, the partners will install 7 HydroQuest tidal turbines, each with a capacity of 2.5 MW, on a 0.28 km² concession, giving a total capacity of 17.5 MW.
Thanks to this support, the Flowatt pilot farm should be operational by 2026.
This pilot project will be the most powerful tidal turbine farm ever deployed, on one of the most energetic sites in the world. Tidal turbines offer a number of advantages, including predictability, low environmental impact, high social acceptability and the absence of visual or noise constraints.
In addition, 70 to 80% of the value of the Flowatt project will be attributed to French companies, and the industrialisation of the sector will ultimately create 6,000 jobs by 2030, when the first Gigawatt is produced.
The implementation of Flowatt will confirm the emergence of a new branch of the renewable energy industry in France, tidal energy, which will play a full part in the country’s low-carbon electricity mix. With some of the strongest marine currents in the world, France is ideally placed to harness this resource. In French waters, the potential is estimated at between 3 and 5 GW for sites already identified, and at over 100 GW worldwide.
“This project reflects an ambitious and responsible vision for France’s energy future. Alongside floating wind power, marine turbines represent a major opportunity for our country, both in terms of renewable energy and job creation. We’re delighted to be making an active contribution to innovation and to France’s leadership in marine renewable energy. This marks an important milestone in the revival of tidal power in France, anticipating significant development of this sector under the next Multiannual Energy Programme (PPE),” says Laurent Vergnet, Qair’s Offshore Director
“This new commitment from the French government, following 15 years of R&D already supported by France and the European Union, will enable Hydroquest and its partners to industrialise this technology, which has been specially designed for the world’s most powerful ocean sites. Following the demonstration in Paimpol-Bréhat, we can’t wait to deploy our tidal turbines in the heart of the Raz Blanchard. Thank you to the French government for giving us this fantastic opportunity to become the world leader in tidal turbine technology!” adds Thomas Jaquier, Chairman of Hydroquest
“The French government’s co-financing of the Flowatt project is an essential milestone for the success of our growth strategy in tidal energy, which was initiated by our shipyard 10 years ago. The construction of the 7 tidal turbines, which we can’t wait to get started on, is just one step towards large-scale commercial development in France and internationally, which will enable us to build dozens of tidal turbines a year here in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. For this to happen, it is essential that ambitious calls for tender are included in the future Multiannual Energy Programme,” says Serge Quaranta, Chairman and CEO of CMN,
Qair is an independent renewable energy company developing, financing, building, and operating solar, onshore and offshore wind, hydroelectric, tidal energy, energy from waste, renewable hydrogen production and storage projects.
With more than 1 GW of capacity in operation, the group’s 600 employees are developing a portfolio pipeline of 30 GW in 20 countries across Europe, Latin America and Africa. Our ambition is to become an independent leader in responsible energy.
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