CNR is involved in the development of marine energy by taking part in the construction of a pilot plant at Raz Blanchard (Cotentin). Thus CNR is asserting its role of enterprise-laboratory for the energies of the future.
Like river hydroelectricity, wind power and solar power, electricity generated from marine energy is 100% green and renewable. Its principle: the energy of currents produced by tides is converted into electricity by underwater turbine generators, the equivalent of submarine wind turbines, that are driven by the speed of the water.
In France, the marine energy sector is still in its experimental phase and CNR now intends to develop its competences. That is why CNR has joined with ENGIE and Alstom to build a pilot marine energy plant at Raz Blanchard, off the Cherbourg coast (Cotentin).
Raz Blanchard is one of the two largest marine energy reserves in France, with Fromveur, on the coast near Brest. Together, they provide a potential capacity of 3 GW, equal to the total capacity of CNR’s hydropower plants on the Rhone.
The pilot plant of Raz Blanchard will be equipped with four turbines of 1.4 MW each (totalling 5.6 MW). It will be commissioned in 2018. The site of Raz Blanchard will permit improving the technology of underwater turbines and validate the economic feasibility of this solution, before large scale development. Environmental monitoring will also be performed.