After a 12-month audit led by the European Investment Bank, the NEMO "New Energy for Martinique and Overseas" project for the development of an offshore pilot ocean thermal energy conversion plant in Martinique was awarded under the NER300 programme by the European Commission.
DCNS, the industrial partner in the project and supplier of the technology, has been working with Akuo Energy for several years with Martinique Caribbean French island to define the options and conditions for the installation of a pilot Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant capable of supplying electricity for 35,000 homes.
Together, DCNS and Akuo Energy plan to develop a 16 MW offshore ocean thermal energy conversion plant, which is expected to be operational in four years. This floating platform anchored in the sea will use the temperature difference between the warm water at the surface and the cold water in the depths to produce non-intermittent and carbon-free electricity, without any uncertainty regarding the resource (access, availability and cost). The island’s location in the Caribbean tropical belt makes it one of the most promising areas in the world for the exploitation of this constant renewable energy and the development of this environmentally friendly technology.
"The success of the NEMO project is a source of pride for Martinique and all the French overseas regions," said Eric Scotto, Akuo Energy CEO "This decision on a European level consolidates the development of our group in insular tropical regions, on the most appropriate Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) technology for these specific areas"
Frédéric Le Lidec, DCNS senior vice president, Marine Renewable Energy Business Line, said the selection of this project by Europe prefigures the development of an ocean thermal energy conversion industrial sector in which DCNS will be one of the main stakeholders. "This technology will eventually benefit all overseas island territories, non-connected to continental power grid, and therefore help isolated areas achieving energy self-sufficiency," he explained.
The NEMO project had been previously selected and supported by French authorities before successfully reaching all the stages of the European program NER300. The Akuo and DCNS project would not have been awarded without the support of French government, through the monitoring of the Directorate General for Energy and Climate (DGEC) and support of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and the Ministry of Economy, Relief Productive and Digital.