The world’s first assembly plant for OpenHydro tidal turbines was inaugurated in Cherbourg in the presence of numerous representatives of the Normandy authorities and foreign delegations.
Built in ten months, this plant will start the production of the first two turbines for Canada and Japan.
The plant will also supply tidal turbines for all French commercial farms.
Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region and Ports Normands Associés (PNA), Marc Lefèvre, President of the Manche Département, Jean-Louis Valentin, President of the Communauté d’Agglomération du Cotentin and Benoît Arrivé, Mayor of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, were attending the ceremony.
Chairman and CEO of Naval Energies and OpenHydro, Laurent Schneider Maunoury, said: “Today, Naval Energies is writing a new page in industrial history on the emerging market of tidal turbines. We have the capacity to build a tidal turbine of a diameter of 16 metres every two weeks. The priority for OpenHydro today is to ensure the success of the international demonstration projects and prepare the ramping up of the Normandie Hydro pilot project, in Raz Blanchard. Beyond that, we urgently need commercial visibility and hope for decisions from States, and in particular France, to launch a call for tenders for commercial farms.”
The plant’s activity should be progressively increased up to its maximum production throughput of 25 turbines/year.
The first two turbines that will be assembled in the plant are intended for Japanese and Canadian clients, Kyuden Mirai Energy and Cape Sharp Tidal, respectively. The continuation of the production should be taken by the Normandie Hydro project with a further seven turbines.