Eel Energy has secured 3.7 million euros for the development of its 1MW prototype tidal energy system from the French PIA – Future Investment Program, operated by Bpifrance.
The granting of the financing comes after a capital increase of nearly 3 million euros secured by the company last June, Eel Energy said.
Jean-Baptiste Drevet, the company’s founder, imagined an undulating membrane tidal device, inspired by the eel swimming. The device’s rubber membrane, equipped with electromagnetic converters, transforms the marine currents into electricity.
The EEL tidal device, operating in shallow water and with currents of 0.7 to 2.5 meters per second, can be installed as close as possible to energy requirements.
Jean-Baptiste Drevet, president of Eel Energy said: “This support from the PIA complements our recent successful fundraising. This enhances our financial visibility, as we will soon launch the project to design and build a 1MW machine. This decision also illustrates to the confidence that the public authorities place in our technology, which will bring a real breakthrough to marine energies.”
Thomas Sennelier, head of Cleantech at Bpifrance, added: “This innovation, which breaks with conventional tidal turbines, will make it possible to exploit currents with lower velocity, and to extend the exploitation of tidal technologies to new areas. It also illustrates the strong potential of biomimicry as a lever for innovation and competitiveness.”