GDF Suez and ALSTOM have signed a partnership project in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande
The President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande, has helped to launch four tidal pilot projects with his presence at the signing of a partnership agreement between GDF Suez and ALSTOM.
The two companies signed the agreement to investigate the integration of ALSTOM’s marine current turbine with a GDF Suez pilot project at Raz Blanchard near Cherbourg, part of that company’s strategy to bring together all interests in order to participate in the creation of a new French industrial sector.
The ALSTOM turbines will complement the VOITH turbines already deployed at Raz Blanchard covered by an existing partnership agreement, signed just recently, between GDF Suez and VOITH, CMN, Cofely-Endel and ACE. This agreement concerns assembly and maintenance of the pilot project and the new agreement with ALSTOM will advance the company’s plan to create a new marine current sector in France once the new turbines have been commissioned for 2016.
GDF Suez is positioning itself as the front-line player in marine current renewable energy with its presence at the two largest tidal sites in French waters. The sites at Raz Blanchard off the coast of the Cotentin Peninsular, and Fromveur offshore Finistère concentrate 80 percent of the available potential tidal energy in the country. With regard to the Fromveur zone, the company is continuing development studies following the signing of another partnership agreement with SABELLA, the company responsible for the construction of the D10 tidal turbine. The company has close to 10,000MW of installed power capacity in France, more than 50 percent of which is from renewable sources. It has therefore made renewables one of the major focuses of its development strategy and is widely regarded as France’s leading onshore wind power company with over 1,200MW of power in production and the second largest hydroelectric power producer with 3,800MW of installed hydroelectric capacity.
“Alstom and GDF Suez will jointly define the technical parameters that will allow to make the best use of the Raz Blanchard current (a high potential marine site in northwestern France)” a spokesperson from ALSTOM said.
ALSTOM is also involved in a 1MW tidal turbine project in Scottish waters.