France selects GDF SUEZ to build a pilot tidal power farm in the Alderney Race


The GDF SUEZ project in the Alderney Race 1 (Manche region) was selected as the winner of the Call for Expression of Interest for “Pilot Tidal Power Farms” published by ADEME 2.

A success that bolsters the ambitions of GDF SUEZ in renewable marine energy

GDF SUEZ is pleased with this decision that rewards the technical and environmental virtues of its project, which is the result of several years of research and consultation with area stakeholders.

This pilot project is an essential step towards confirming the technical and economic viability of the sector before developing this technology on a larger scale.

This success follows two invitations to tender won this year by GDF SUEZ for offshore wind farms in Tréport and the Isles of Yeu and Noirmoutier, for total power of 1000 MW. The group thus bolsters its ambition to become the leader in the energy transition in Europe and a leading player in marine energy.

Construction of this farm of 4 tidal turbines, for total power of 5.6 MW, is scheduled to begin in 2017, with an expected operational lifespan of 20 years.

A project based on a proven technology

GDF SUEZ will rely upon the studies the Group has conducted at the site since 2009, and on the choice of reliable and proven technology. The project will use the Oceade™, tidal stream turbine, built by Alstom, which has already been tested numerous times at the EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre, Scotland), and which has brought over 1 GWh of electricity to date onto the electric grid.

The Group has chosen the port of Cherbourg as the future industrial base for hosting assembly and maintenance activities for the pilot tidal power farm, thanks to its geographic proximity and its high-quality infrastructure.

The 4 turbines of the pilot farm will be connected to each other using an underwater electrical junction box, making it possible to power Cotentin with just one cable. This innovative technology, developed by Alstom in association with GDF SUEZ in the scope of the Prismer project, won a previous CEI in “Demonstrators and Technological Building Blocks.”

GDF SUEZ is also pursuing its tidal power studies in the Fromveur area (Finistère) and has proposed to ADEME the exploration of a specific route accounting for the insular specificities of the area and electrical supply issues for Ushant Island.

1 The leading French tidal stream, representing 50% of the country’s potential, with currents that can reach up to 10 knots (approx. 19 km/h).

2 French Agency for Environment and Energy Management


GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services. GDF SUEZ employs 147,400 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €81.3 billion in 2013. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).

Source:: France selects GDF SUEZ to build a pilot tidal power farm in the Alderney Race