The agreement between OpenHydro, a DCNS company, and Alderney Renewable Energy was sealed at the Thetis Marine Renewable Energy conference in Cherbourg earlier this month. The joint venture company is called Race Tidal Ltd.
Over the next three years, the partners will be working closely with The States of Alderney, the Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy, local communities and stakeholders to complete the required surveys and environmental impact assessments prior to making an application for full consent. The 300MW tidal array is expected to reach full scale deployment from 2020 which will coincide with the commissioning of the FAB interconnector. Once completed, the array developed by OpenHydro and ARE is expected to consist of 150 turbines (2.0MW each) which will produce enough power for over 150,000 homes.
The island of Alderney is located in the Channel Islands, and its territorial waters contain one of the world’s largest tidal energy resources.
“We are very excited about this next phase in the development of tidal energy in Alderney waters,” said Thierry Kalanquin, chairman of OpenHydro and DCNS senior vice president, energies and marine infrastructure. “Our initial agreement with ARE which dates back to 2007 has been a strategic part of our site development business plan. Today’s announcement represents another key milestone as we realise our goals to deliver commercial tidal energy projects.”
Nick Horler, executive chairman of Alderney Renewable Energy, agreed, adding that the economic development of Alderney’s tidal power projects will provide Europe with a new source of predictable, clean, renewable energy and improve the security of our energy supplies. “The joint venture partnership that we now have in place with OpenHydro is a critical piece in the jigsaw as we move to now make significant progress towards creating one of the largest renewable energy projects in European coastal waters,” he stated.
OpenHydro will provide the turbines which will be manufactured in Cherbourg, France, in an industrial site which will also support future tidal energy farms off the French coast. FAB Link Limited (a joint venture between Alderney Renewable Energy and Transmission Investment LLP) is responsible for infrastructure. Specifically, FAB Link is developing a power interconnector between France, Alderney and Britain which will enable the tidal power generated in Alderney’s waters to be exported to European markets. The interconnector will also allow energy to be traded between France and Britain. Development of the FAB project is progressing in conjunction with French Grid operator RTE.